A new 3-D printer makes objects appear to grow from primordial goo, all in a matter of minutes.
The Continuous Liquid Interface Production technology (CLIP), reported in March in Science, features a pool of specialized resin that hardens when exposed to light but remains liquefied when exposed to oxygen. A projection system flashes ultraviolet light patterns through an oxygen-permeable window beneath the resin while a mechanical arm pulls the object upward as it’s being created. Since the light and arm work in tandem, shapes and lattices can be printed continuously rather than layer by layer, like — dare we say — “old-fashioned” 3-D printers.
The CLIP is fast: An intricate, 51-millimeter structure emerges from the resin in six and a half minutes. The same job with a traditional 3-D printer would take three hours.