In late 2014, Autodesk launched the Spark Investment Fund with the aim of investing up to $100 million in entrepreneurs, innovators and startups who push the boundaries of 3D printing. The Spark Investment Fund is the first venture fund exclusively dedicated to driving the overall growth of the 3D printing ecosystem.
“We started the Spark Investment Fund to help drive the 3D printing industry forward,” said Carl Bass, Autodesk president and CEO. “Carbon3D embodies the innovation that’s required to change how products are made. The incredible speed of its CLIP technology makes 3D printing accessible for true manufacturing, beyond the prototyping and the one-offs we see it being used for now.”
Current layer-by-layer 3D printing technology is slow and often produces parts that are mechanically weak due to their shale-like layers. Using a tunable photochemical process instead of the traditional mechanical approach, Carbon3D’s CLIP technology eliminates these shortcomings to rapidly transform 3D models into physical objects. By carefully balancing the interaction of UV light, which triggers photo polymerization, and oxygen, which inhibits the reaction, CLIP continuously grows molecularly solid objects from a pool of resin at speeds of up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D printing technology.
“By working at the intersection of hardware, software and molecular science, we are aiming to fundamentally address the issues that have held 3D printing back from becoming a manufacturing process,” said Dr. Joseph DeSimone, CEO and co-founder, Carbon3D. “We’re honored to have an industry powerhouse like Autodesk recognize the transformative nature of our CLIP technology and engage with us in such a significant way.”
Following their technology preview launch on stage at TED 2015 and to the scientific community on the cover of Science Magazine, Carbon3D is focused on productizing the CLIP technology and will have an industrial machine available within the next 12 months.
Carbon3D, a Silicon Valley based company, was founded in 2013 in Chapel Hill, NC. Working at the intersection of hardware, software and molecular science, Carbon3D is delivering on the promise of 3D printing, allowing commercial customers to go beyond basic prototyping to achieve 3D manufacturing. The Continuous Liquid Interface Production technology (CLIP) was introduced simultaneously at TED 2015 and to the scientific community on the cover of Science Magazine (Science, March 2015). Carbon3D is backed by some of the top investors in the world including Sequoia, Silver Lake Kraftwerk, Autodesk Spark Investment Fund, Northgate Partners, Piedmont Capital Partners, and Wakefield Group.
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