In Terminator 2 it seemed like a terrifying yes distant technology: a fully-formed robot rising from a pool of molten metal. Now scientists have built a 3D printer that can lift perfectly detailed objects from out of a pool of liquid in minutes, as the incredible video below shows.
The technology is not only cooler than other 3D printers, it is up to 100 times faster and makes materials far stronger than other methods.
“We were inspired by the Terminator 2 scene”, admitted Joseph DeSimone, a professor of chemistry at University of North Carolina and a founder of the company, Carbon3D.
Why couldn’t you have an object rise out of a puddle in real time with essentially no waste?
The technique is called Clip: continuous liquid interface production and involves a flat, moving platform that rises up, pulling the dripping creation from the resin below. It uses pulses of light to solidify the resin and oxygen, which prevents solidification, to create the complex detail.
The main difference is that it doesn't print in layers, so the structure of the objects is far stronger. It can even print lattices, for added durability. Here's a second video, showing the machine printing an intricate ball.
We think that popular 3D printing is actually misnamed — it's really just 2D printing over and over again.
The strides in that area have mostly been driven by mechanical engineers figuring out how to make things layer by layer to precisely create an object. We're two chemists and a physicist, so we came in with a different perspective.