It’s been a few years since Carbon introduced a new 3D printer, as the M2 was launched in 2017 and the L1 came in 2019. But, today the 3D printing unicorn announced the next generation of its innovative Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology , which has often been used to make products for the consumer and sporting goods sectors. As Phil DeSimone, Carbon’s co-founder and director of product and business development, said at a press conference yesterday, the next-generation M-Series is “not just a new product,” but a platform that can “enable people everywhere to do what the world needs right now.
The new DLS systems, the M3 and M3 Max, would be smarter, smoother, faster, and simpler, delivering more throughput and consistency, better surface finish, and larger build volumes.
“We’re really excited about the news we have to share today. Since Carbon’s inception, we’ve been proud of the pioneering technology that brings AM to the masses,” said DeSimone.
Joined by Carbon’s head of communications, Kristalle Cooks, and Rob L’Heureux, director of product marketing for Carbon, DeSimone explained that the software is what is really “at the heart of the DLS process”, providing a “true digital thread with built-in quality assurance throughout the process.
He went on to explain that great materials are also critically important to making great products, no matter how fast your printer is, and reminded the reporters on the Zoom call that Carbon released the support for four new materials in 2021 alone, with another coming next month.
“But not all of you joined us today to hear an update on how things are going here,” DeSimone continued. “At Carbon we always push the limits, and today we are delighted to show you something totally new with the all-new M3 and M3 Max.”
L’Heureux chimed in, noting that this new generation of DLS “further meets customer requirements to take advantage of additive manufacturing” and that these new printers are “ideal” for any customers who want simpler yet faster printing. . Moreover, it seems that the M3 and M3 Max also offer more build volume.
“The M3 Max offers the same benefits as the M3, but with double the build area,” he said, before continuing that “parts that print well on the M2 will print perfectly on these next generation printers”.
They explained that the M3’s build volume, which is 189 x 118 x 326mm, is consistent with the M2, but the M3 Max, with a build volume of 307 x 163 x 326mm, is doubled in size. X and Y axes, with the same Z axis. However, the M3 Max has the same size and pixel density as the M3 printer, making it ideal for printing larger parts or many smaller parts with a similar quality. This is due to a new feature: L’Heureux said the M3 Max has “a true 4K chip, which we believe will impact part quality”, DeSimone stating this is the ” first 3D printer to integrate a 4k DLP”. light engine”, which is “incredibly unique”.
“In terms of resolution, the M2 and M3 have the same pixel size,” DeSimone said. “But if we took the 4K light engine and kept it in the M3 build envelope, you would have smaller pixels. But we were able to keep the same pixel size as the M2 and M3 for the M3 Max, with a twice the throughput.
This 4K light engine is what makes it possible to double the build area with the same size and pixel density.
The M3, claimed to be up to 2.5 times faster than the M2, was designed for fast printing, and Carbon explained in a press release that better resin heat management based on the infrared enables the two new DLS systems to deliver more throughput per square foot in “thermally constrained” scenarios. The smaller of the two, the M3, is also said to offer larger design space, a simpler printing experience, and a more consistent surface finish. The company said its next-generation DLS printers benefit from a larger design space, allowing them to print more geometries than previous systems could, especially for elastomer parts and those with characteristics are sensitive to high forces.
Speaking of lower forces, DeSimone explained that the M3 and M3 Max have very sensitive sensors in the build arm, which can sense the suction forces in real time and then relay them back to the printer itself, which will speed it up or slow it down so customers can optimize their prints and “ensure they’re getting the post-build part quality they’re looking for.” With these much lower forces it is possible to print green parts, and they also introduce closed-loop control of temperature and force, which can reduce failure modes and make the printing experience overall much simpler.
The company also claims that its new DLS systems can produce much smoother parts, with tests showing a 1.4µm reduction in surface roughness compared to previous generation DLS printers, and that they reduce variations of parts by up to 50%, which means more precise. , repeatable parts.
DeSimone referred to another of the M3’s “most compelling features” that it’s the company’s first printer that customers can install themselves.
“Installing equipment after it has been shipped is a difficult thing to control, so a lot of expertise was needed to make this possible,” he explained. “Customers can expect the highly consistent and accurate 3D printing experience that Carbon’s DLS has delivered since day one. The calibration is done by itself.
The company has designed the M3 so that it can be installed in just a few hours and that customers can quickly and easily move the system around their facilities if and when they want.
“Fast Radius uses Carbon’s printers and materials to produce parts for a wide range of customers, in a variety of applications. We have also leveraged the carbon design engine, in conjunction with our own software capabilities, to help customers evaluate materials and technologies to produce parts that exceed quality standards and deadlines,” Bobby Bott, Vice -president of manufacturing at Fast Radius, a Carbon partner and customer, said in the press release. “Having worked with Carbon for five years, we are excited to continue our partnership and bring M3 capabilities to our customers.”
A new touchscreen interface provides more functionality for printers, with other features including next-generation oxygen-permeable optics, improved ergonomics, visual and audio status notifications, and 30% inter- less construction. Plus, they both work with a variety of high-performance materials for applications in multiple industries, including automotive, dental, consumer products, industrial, and life sciences. In response to a question in the chat, DeSimone said that rather than targeting new industries with the M3 and M3 Max, the next-gen printers are “aimed at improving the experience for all of the audiences Carbon already sells to, from oral health to the automobile. ”
“Customers in consumer product areas, such as those with elastomeric meshes, should be able to prototype more easily,” he said.
“We now also have a printer at every price point for dental labs, giving us a better and more robust product portfolio than we had before.”
Speaking of pricing, DeSimone said M2 customers can easily upgrade to the M3 or M3 Max, which use the same print-prep software, with Carbon Subscription Program. All you have to do is contact your account manager if you want to upgrade your system. Because of this subscription program, DeSimone and L’Heureux were hesitant to name a specific price for the new printers, noting that the costs will be shared directly with customers.
Additional specs for the M3 include:
- 75 μm XY resolution, 50 or 100 μm Z resolution
- Accuracy up to ±65 μm + 1 μm per mm of dimension
- Production repeatability up to ±37 μm
- Dental accuracy of over 90% at ±50 μm
The new Carbon M3 and M3 Max are both available to order now, although the M3 Max isn’t expected to ship until the second half of 2022.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Stay up to date on all the latest 3D printing industry news and receive information and offers from third-party vendors.