How Joe DeSimone is Changing 3-D Printing—Speaking of Chemistry Road Trip

How Joe DeSimone is Changing 3-D Printing—Speaking of Chemistry Road Trip


Buckle up, everyone! Speaking of Chemistry
is taking a road trip through the Golden State to visit some of California’s most prominent
chemists. We’ll be making five stops from the Bay all the way down to San Diego. Our
journey begins in Silicon Valley with a startup company called Carbon that believes its chemistry-centric approach to 3-D printing will change the future of manufacturing. Joe DeSimone: When you look at 3-D printing, this industry is pretty small. It’s only about $4 billion industry. To put
that into context, I think the scented candle industry is a $9 billion industry. So it’s small. Matt: Joe DeSimone and his Carbon colleagues
are trying to change that. Carbon unveiled its first commercial 3-D printer in April
and performance is an emphasis with this machine. Conventional 3-D printers are great for creating
complex, one-of-a-kind pieces. But they print slowly and the polymers that they do print, nobody’s
talking about using them in cars or medical equipment. Most of these parts look and feel
like cheap plastic. Carbon is boosting both print speed and the
diversity of printable polymers using ultraviolet light and some crafty chemistry. Carbon’s
printer holds a pool of a liquid resin that cures or hardens into a solid polymer when
it’s exposed to ultraviolet light and just the right amount of oxygen. The team controls
how much oxygen gets into the pool with a permeable window underneath the resin. Near
the window, there’s too much oxygen for the polymer to cure. Carbon calls this region
the dead zone. But the oxygen level is just right for curing at the tippy top of the dead
zone. An automated platform pulls the cured polymer upward and fresh resin can easily
flow to the bottom of the part to keep curing going. The printer controls the shape of the
UV light pattern to control the shape of the object. Joe: I think of what we’re doing as basically
software controlled chemical reactions. Matt: The printer moves fast–up to 100 times
as fast as conventional 3-D printers–but speed is just part of Carbon’s innovation.
The team is printing polymers that have never been printed before. Their printed materials
behave a lot like polymers currently used in car parts, medical equipment, even sneakers.
Yeah, sneakers. To do this, Carbon formulates all of its own resins. Available UV-curable
polymers end up being hard and brittle. And ain’t nobody gonna dunk wearing brittle
Air Jordans. Jason Rolland: I like to joke around, we sort
of cheated by not using UV curable materials for the entire resin. Our resins are blends
of different chemistries, some that activate with UV and others that activate with heat
in a post-step. We’re able to lock the shape of the object with one set of chemistries and lock mechanical
or thermal properties with a secondary chemistry. You get out of this small box of highly crosslinked
acrylic-based materials or epoxy-based materials and into a much bigger sandbox. Matt: And each material has its own chemist
behind it. So how does Carbon combine all this new chemistry with brand new 3-D printing
hardware and software? We suspect the office puppies have something to do with that. But
more importantly–probably–chemists are working side-by-side with hardware and software engineers,
some of whom have some serious Silicon Valley credentials. Joe: EJ’s a mechanical engineer, Robin’s
a mechanical engineer. And Derek’s a mechanical engineer. Derek was actually in…. Battlebots.
He was the guy that was caught cheating and threw a net on somebody else. Jason: For me, it’s just thrilling to be sitting
next there to a Google software engineer. I mean, what chemist gets to work next to a Google software engineer
or a Tesla hardware engineer? And everybody’s interacting and learning from each other.
Really it has to be that way for it to work. We can’t get siloed in our own little world
and say here’s the chemistry, now you go make it work on the printer. Matt: There are existing technologies already
making polymer parts. The big kahuna is injection molding, which can create loads and loads
of the same thing at low cost. But Joe knows at least three scenarios where 3-D printing
beats injection molding. Joe: First and foremost, it’s about complexity.
First and foremost. You think about something like this, this lattice. You can’t injection
mold this. Matt: The second case is when you need just
one of something–say a medical implant or a prosthetic made for one specific person,
like this hand made possible by conventional 3-D printing and a volunteer group called
e-NABLE. You wouldn’t make that with injection molding. Joe: And the third thing I would point to
is the speed. The ability of a flexible factory that can knock out unique designs and turnover
instantly, you can’t do that with injection molding. Having real material properties printed
at game-changing speeds allows us to take this very small industry of 3-D printing and
move into 3-D manufacturing. Matt: Lots of people are excited about Carbon’s
potential, but not everyone is on the bandwagon. For more on that, check out this story. But
we’d be lying if we said we aren’t really hoping that 3-D printed shoes work out. Imagine:
fresh-to-death sneakers that are guaranteed to fit with the push of a button. Head to
the comments now and tell us about an area where you’re excited to see 3-D printing change
things up. Huge thanks to Joe, Jason, and everyone at
Carbon for showing us around. See you all next time when the road trip stops
at Stanford to check out Zhenan Bao’s lab and the electronic skins her team is developing.
Hit that subscribe button now so you don’t miss it.

32 thoughts on “How Joe DeSimone is Changing 3-D Printing—Speaking of Chemistry Road Trip

  • May 19, 2016 at 2:08 pm
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    I'm earlier than the big bang

    Reply
  • May 19, 2016 at 2:16 pm
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    Dem girl scout cookies at 3:05 tho

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  • May 19, 2016 at 2:36 pm
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    Ah, always great to see 3-d printing. I truly hope this industry booms in the next few years.. ..and it's not because I got money in those companies.. not. at. all

    Reply
  • May 19, 2016 at 2:39 pm
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    Imagine doing this with organs or real life iron man suits! Hell if you made an Olympic sized one of these, you could print a house, parts for a rocket, train segments or even building blocks for a city. Show Elon Musk this and the first thing that'll come to his mind would be using this for building cities on Mars!

    Reply
  • May 19, 2016 at 2:52 pm
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    lol the guy said",this is the guy who got cAught cheating." well gee thanks buddy for not letting that gem escape anyone lol…looks awesome although and great video by the way 🙂

    Reply
  • May 19, 2016 at 3:05 pm
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    3D printed sex toys lol

    Reply
  • May 19, 2016 at 4:29 pm
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    3d printing has been advancing well.  I've seen plasma 3d printing; they argued it was a general 3d printing technology. Certainly seems to be the case that one has to bring something more than a printer to make 3d printing practical.

    Reply
  • May 19, 2016 at 6:43 pm
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    take my money!

    Reply
  • May 19, 2016 at 7:34 pm
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    I would love to see 3D printing change the medical field. Medical equipment is really expensive, this changes that.

    Reply
  • May 19, 2016 at 8:56 pm
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    Chemistry is so awesome.

    Reply
  • May 19, 2016 at 9:17 pm
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    This is exactly what 3d printing needed :). More different materials.

    Reply
  • May 19, 2016 at 9:18 pm
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    1:57 do my shoes and take my money !

    Reply
  • May 19, 2016 at 9:23 pm
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    i remember his ted-talk.

    Reply
  • May 20, 2016 at 1:57 am
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    This is absolutely amazing. I want to work there!

    Reply
  • May 20, 2016 at 4:34 am
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    food 3d printed will be sick

    Reply
  • May 20, 2016 at 6:35 am
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    Well scented candles are pretty cool

    Reply
  • May 20, 2016 at 8:05 am
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    That is really awesome! It's very exciting to live in the 21. century because of such amazing technology.

    Reply
  • May 20, 2016 at 8:59 pm
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    1:55 Are you telling me that this 3D printing is not sped up footage?

    Reply
  • June 8, 2016 at 1:39 am
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    where can I get the thing showed in the thumbnail?

    Reply
  • June 22, 2016 at 12:39 am
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    20/10 would wear 3d printed shoes

    Reply
  • December 5, 2016 at 7:13 pm
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    I was wondering when the sex toys would make an appearance @ 2:54… x) looks like a mouth annnnd well.. i'll let you decide what the pink one is

    Reply
  • December 23, 2016 at 4:56 am
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    I'm loving 3D printing for my artwork and jewelry designs. Nice vid.

    Reply
  • January 13, 2017 at 11:43 pm
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    I need a 1m x 1m by 2m printer like this

    Reply
  • February 3, 2017 at 3:56 pm
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    Battlebots guy technically wasn't cheating by using a net. There was an oversight in excluding nets in the rules. But they re-fought the match anyway.

    Reply
  • February 15, 2017 at 3:23 pm
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    How awesome would it be having such a thing standing on your desk and you could pring very fast anything you want

    Reply
  • February 28, 2017 at 9:27 pm
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    3D printed lattice to pyrolyze into a porous carbon structure and dope with catalysts.

    Reply
  • October 26, 2017 at 1:00 am
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    Now if it could just print the money it costs to buy it…

    Reply
  • October 30, 2017 at 7:13 am
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    I have a nice older Kawasaki that was missing its' airbox when I got it, and of course with age comes unavailability. Imagine a company that could make up parts like this to keep an older machine running.

    Reply
  • October 27, 2018 at 2:12 pm
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    I would love to see 3d printing move towards high heat metals for eg: engineering parts for construction of bridges, vehicle parts, buildings etc.
    Even hip replacement or artificial sternum or an artificial spinal disc etc.

    Reply
  • October 30, 2018 at 8:14 pm
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    Seen this long time ago on discovery science.. Amazing work..probably we are going see our new shoe manufactures and given to us at the same time

    Reply
  • October 31, 2018 at 3:32 pm
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    How can 3D-printing be used to reduce the amount of plastic waste we produce? Is anyone developing a mass market viable way to 3D-print biodegradable objects which can replace plastics in the future? I'd like to be able to print a spare part for a piece of tech I'm using, and then just throw it on the compost heap when it's no longer needed. Can we do that? I mean, at prices so average people will be able to afford it, not just as a cool novelty product.

    Reply
  • October 1, 2019 at 4:49 pm
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    Copy the microstructures on beetle shells that give them their color, guarantee them shoes will sell

    Reply

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