Interview: Carbon releases first medical-grade material for DLS, partners with Fast Radius

Carbon, the Silicon Valley-based company behind Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) 3D printing technology, has unveiled its first medical-grade material: Medical Polyurethane 100 (MPU 100).

“The life sciences and medical device industries show enormous promise for using 3D printing for production at scale, and we will continue to prioritize the development of next-generation materials in this segment,” said Jason Rolland, Vice President of Materials at Carbon.

“With MPU 100, Carbon is enabling new capabilities for medical device manufacturers by providing the mechanical properties, biocompatibility, sterilization compatibility, and chemical resistance to produce safe and reliable end-use products for patients.”

Furthermore, Carbon has announced a partnership with Chicago-based Manufacturing technology company and 3D printing service bureau Fast Radius, which will also use DLS to optimize the design of the Steelcase SILQ office chair.

Left to right: a litagiting clip holder, surgical tool handle, pilleve pill bottle, and BD adapter 3D printed using MPU 100. Image via Carbon.
Left to right: a litigating clip holder, surgical tool handle, pilleve pill bottle, and BD adapter 3D printed using MPU 100. Image via Carbon.

Meeting demanding medical environments

In 2015, Carbon debuted its Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) technology which uses light and oxygen to “continuously grow objects from a pool of resin instead of printing them layer-by-layer.” This technology enables DLS, which uses digital light projection, oxygen permeable optics, and programmable liquid resin for high-resolution 3D printed parts with advanced mechanical properties.

Accompanying Carbon’s FDA-approved 3D printable DENTCA resins, MPU 100, a white polymer resin, maintains high mechanical strength, high abrasion resistance, biocompatibility, and sterilizability, allowing for components used for skin-contact, drug-contact, and single-use medical devices.

In an interview about the about the new material, a Carbon representative told 3D Printing Industry, Manufacturers of materials used in medical devices will sometimes do testing on the materials to get baseline information on its inherent biocompatibility. They provide this information to the FDA in the form of a Master File. This information does not absolve the device manufacturers of completing similar testing on their final finished product.”

However, “Carbon’s MPU 100 has been tested in accordance with ISO 10993-5 and -10, as well as USP VI standards and passes all.”

MPU 100 is available in 800ML cartridges to Carbon customers across the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Carbon and Fast Radius redesign the Steelcase SILQ chair

With an interest in DLP technology Steelcase, a furniture and interior design company that co-developed Rapid Liquid Printing (RLP) technology, approached Carbon and Fast Radius, to collaborate in redesigning its SILQ chair considering consumer personalization.

“Ever since SILQ first debuted, we have continued to experiment with enhancements to the chair’s design, living up to our reputation of pursuing innovation,” said Bruce Smith, Director of Global Design at Steelcase.

“The additive manufacturing processes from Fast Radius and Carbon enabled us to streamline the already-unique aesthetics of the chair with a lattice structure that also condensed three parts into one.”

Now including a 3D printed armrest, the chair is designed to react intuitively to an individual’s body and movements. This component was designed separately in four zones that provided different attributes based on the consumer’s arm interaction. Using DLP technology, Fast Radius was able to print the entire armrest as one part while the use of lattices decreased material usage by an estimated 70%.

“Carbon’s digital 3D Manufacturing solution empowers companies like Steelcase with the freedom to design and build next-gen products on the means of production, at scale,” said Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone, CEO and co-founder of Carbon.

Fast Radius and Carbon will be showcasing the Steelcase SILQ office chair and armrest at IMTS in Chicago this week.

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Featured image shows Carbon MPU 100 material. Photo via Carbon