The latest 3D printing elastomer made from carbon has a 40% bio-based composition.


Venture-backed Carbon made a splash in 2015 when it emerged as the first company to commercialize continuous digital light processing (DLP) technology. This 3D printing double unicorn impressed the industry with its speedy Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) solution and the ability to print end-use parts using heat treatment and a specialty chemical formula.

One of the major highlights of Carbon’s offering is its engineering-quality materials, which have helped the California-based startup secure major sportswear deals with brands like adidas, CCM, and Rawlings. And now, Carbon is set to expand its applications even further with the release of its newest high-performance elastomer, EPU 46.

Carbon already boasts a strong materials library, with six other elastomeric offerings, including SIL 30, EPU 40, EPU 41, EPU 43, EPU 44, and EPU 45. However, the addition of the customizable EPU 46 allows Carbon to enhance its idea-to-production platform and meet the growing demand for new product opportunities. Furthermore, EPU 46 is touted as a more sustainable material option.

According to Jason Rolland, SVP of Materials at Carbon, “EPU 46 is the future of elastomer customization, combining the benefits of performance, comfort, and durability with the excitement of custom colors and tunable material stiffness. EPU 46 furthers our commitment to providing a robust and complete idea-to-production platform that can be fully customized to our client’s specifications. This is truly the next step in our journey to creating anything that can be dreamt up.”

EPU stands for Elastomeric Polyurethane, which means it exhibits rubber-like characteristics, making it ideal for applications like midsoles. It is also comparable to Thermoplastic Polyurethane Elastomers (TPU).

Carbon’s elastomeric material family features functional toughness, resistance to chemicals, abrasions, and UV light. The materials are also high impact, sterilization compatible, and offer energy damping. EPU 46, in particular, was designed to meet the demands for premium products by focusing on aesthetics, comfort, and performance, especially in sportswear applications.

EPU 46 offers excellent durability and high-performance material properties. Users can also fine-tune its material stiffness without compromising on printability. The material’s dual-cure properties, along with its excellent energy return, provide speed and customization advantages. With fast print times, good printability, and a range of material stiffnesses and colors, EPU 46 offers a versatile solution.

In terms of customization, Carbon has added pigment directly to the resin to ensure that the colors remain vibrant and do not wear away. Moreover, the material offers tunable material stiffness values from Shore 78A-55A, allowing for a wider range of applications. This flexibility enables the use of EPU 46 in products that require tactile qualities, such as handles and thin features where matching a soft compression is challenging.

Designed for high-volume production efficiency, Carbon’s EPU 46 is durable enough for demanding, high-performance applications. Its inherent customization capabilities also make it an excellent choice for premium products, including footwear, grips, and bike saddles.

One of the most exciting aspects of Carbon’s new EPU 46 is its focus on eco-friendliness. The company has identified four main sustainability focus areas to minimize its impact on the planet: recycling, hazardous waste reduction, part dematerialization, and the use of bio-based raw materials.

By partnering with companies like DuPont Tate & Lyle, Carbon incorporates bio-derived precursors to polyurethane building blocks in its resin formulations. This approach generates 56% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and uses 42% less nonrenewable energy compared to petroleum-derived materials.

Similar to Carbon’s EPU 44, the new EPU 46 contains 40% bio-based material. Another product, RPU 130, contains 25% bio-derived components by weight. Additionally, EPU 46 is designed for solvent-free spin cleaning and resin reclaim to reduce production waste.

The new EPU 46 material by Carbon will be available internationally by the end of this month. Stay informed about the latest news and developments in the 3D printing industry by following Carbon and receive exclusive information and offers from third party vendors.

Original source


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