April 11, 2016 Yerba Buena Cen­ter San Fran­cisco CHECK:


Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - Politics / Policy -

In this gleam­ing lab in Red­wood City, Calif., the first thing you no­tice is the burnt smell in the air. The next thing you no­tice is the whirring noise, from the ma­chin­ery at the cen­ter of the lab clean­ing ob­jects pulled from hum­ming rows of 5-foot-long cylin­dri­cal print­ers. They’re turn­ing sludgy trays of gooey resin into caramel- col­ored shoe soles, valves, and pro­to­type knee re­place­ments.

This is Car­bon, the first com­pany in the $4 bil­lion 3D-print­ing in­dus­try to of­fer a se­ri­ous—and se­ri­ously fast— al­ter­na­tive to con­ven­tional in­jec­tion molds. Us­ing new ma­te­ri­als, hard­ware, and soft­ware, Car­bon’s printer, the M1, fires UV light at its syrupy resins to pro­duce pro­to­types and pro­duc­tion parts that can be more bouncy, stiff, tough, or heat-re­sis­tant than ri­val prod­ucts, print­ing at speeds com­peti­tors can’t match. Co-founder and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Joseph Des­i­mone gets a lit­tle flow­ery when the knees come out. “We don’t print,” he says. “We grow.”

Car­bon has raised more than $140 mil­lion in ven­ture fund­ing, 10-fold the typ­i­cal 3D-print­ing suc­cess story, from the likes of Google Ven­tures and Se­quoia Cap­i­tal. In­stead of tar­get­ing home hob­by­ists like Mak­erbot In­dus­tries and Form­labs do, Car­bon has teamed up with 15 big pay­ing cus­tomers, in­clud­ing John­son & John­son, Ford, BMW, and East­man Ko­dak. Its pro­cesses haven’t been around long enough to demon­strate their dura­bil­ity, but early clients say they’re happy with the med­i­cal de­vices, auto parts, and other equip­ment they’ve printed with Car­bon’s ma­chines. As of April 1, Car­bon is mak­ing the M1 avail­able to other busi­nesses as part of a yearly sub­scrip­tion pro­gram.

The M1 uses a pro­jec­tor to pre­cisely shape the UV light it fo­cuses on poly­mer gunk, hard­en­ing it into solid ma­te­ri­als the ma­chine then ex­tracts from the liq­uid goo. The com­pany says its ap­proach is as much as 100 times faster than those used by ri­vals, de­pend­ing on the ob­ject’s com­plex­ity. Des­i­mone says the soft­ware

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strikes with­out de­form­ing or break­ing

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