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Carbon DLS

Get quality 3D-printed parts built from thermoset resins.

Carbon DLS Services

Carbon DLS™ is a resin-based polymer process that uses light and heat to create parts with isotropic properties, complex geometries, and excellent surface finishes. 

Carbon uses digital light projection, oxygen-permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins to produce products with end-use durability, resolution, and surface finish. This 3D printing technology is called Digital Light Synthesis™, or DLS for short. Another legacy term for the process is Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP). 

DLS offers a wide range of production-grade materials, allowing engineers to build end-use parts right off the printer. Along with Carbon’s custom liquid resins, DLS unlocks new business opportunities and product designs previously impossible, including mass customization and on-demand inventory of end-use products.

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Carbon DLS™ technology can be used to create strong, flexible, and colorful prototypes.

Carbon DLS™ materials are fully dense and engineered for end-use.

Carbon DLS™ is ideal for serialize production of small to medium-sized parts.

3D print directly in urethanes, epoxies, elastomers, and other specialty thermosets.

Best-in-class at 3D printing of lattice structures and organic shapes.

Produce small parts in serialized production at pricing competitive with injection molding.

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Contact us to see if the Carbon DLS™ process is the right fit for your production needs.

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The Carbon DLS™ Process

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DIGITAL LIGHT PROJECTION: UV LIGHT SHAPES THE PART

The Digital Light Synthesis process is driven by Carbon’s groundbreaking Continuous Liquid Interface Production™, or CLIP™. CLIP is a photochemical process that cures liquid plastic resin into solid parts using ultraviolet light. It works by projecting light through an oxygen-permeable window into a reservoir of UV-curable resin. As a sequence of UV images is projected, the part solidifies, and the build platform rises.

OXYGEN-PERMEABLE OPTICS: FAST PRINTING VIA THE “DEAD ZONE”

The heart of the CLIP process is the “dead zone”—a thin, liquid interface of uncured resin between the window and the printing part. Light passes through the dead zone, curing the resin above it to form a solid part without curing the part onto the window. Resin flows beneath the curing part as the print progresses, maintaining the “continuous liquid interface” that powers CLIP and avoiding the slow and forceful peeling process inherent to many other resin-based printers.

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DUAL-CURE MATERIALS: MECHANICAL PROPERTIES SET BY HEAT

Traditional resin-based 3D printing processes produce weak, brittle parts. Carbon overcomes this by embedding a second heat-activated programmable chemistry in our materials. Once a part is printed on a Carbon printer, it’s baked in an oven. Heat sets off a secondary chemical reaction that causes the materials to adapt and strengthen, taking on exceptionally strong characteristics. This produces high-resolution parts with engineering-grade mechanical properties.

Common Carbon DLS™ applications

Carbon DLS™ is often used for end-use parts because it produces high tolerances and smooth surface finishes. The speed of the Carbon DLS™ 3D printing process makes it an attractive option for rapid prototyping.

High-volume production runs

Cost-effective and quick production of small parts.

Complex parts

Process allows geometries that would be impossible with other methods.

Foam replacement

Elastomeric lattice design enables custom mechanical responses.

Functional prototyping

Durable prototypes suitable for testing in real-world conditions.

Chemical and heat resistant parts

Materials that meet many functional and regulatory requirements.

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Carbon DLS has many benefits

Why the Carbon DLS™ Process?

Accelerate every step of product development

Rapid Design Iterations

Test dozens of designs in the time it used to take to try one.

Functional and Rapid Prototyping

Don’t settle for fragile prototypes. Bring your designs to life with the industry’s best materials, then start testing and iterating immediately.

Scale to Production

Seamlessly transition into production while still being able to revise your designs immediately and without retooling. Scaling has already been done by leading brands like Adidas, Specialized, and fizik.

Find the perfect design for your application, not a mold

Undercuts and Undrafted Walls

Moldability constraints don’t apply here. Enjoy the freedom of designing with undercuts and perfectly straight walls without sacrificing manufacturability.

Performance-oriented Lattices

Lattices allow you to specify your required characteristics at every millimeter. Determine your product’s ideal mechanical response and leverage Carbon Design Engine™ software to generate the right lattice for it.

Consolidated Parts

A single printed part frequently offers better mechanical performance than an assembled one. Streamline production with reduced SKUs and less labor by consolidating assemblies.

Discover new aesthetics

Customization

With no tooling costs, you’re free to make every unit unique. Offer personalized designs, or build entire products around individuals.

Surface Design and Textures

Enhance your parts by applying textures to complex curved surfaces like grips and enclosures with Carbon design software.

3D printed parts are notoriously inconsistent. Because of a layer-by-layer process, conventional 3D printed materials often exhibit variable strength and mechanical properties depending on the direction in which they were printed.

The Carbon DLS™ process, on the other hand, produces parts with predictable isotropic mechanical properties. These printed parts are solid inside like injection molded parts and behave consistently in all directions. The resolution and gentleness of our process—where parts aren’t harshly repositioned with every slice—make it possible to leverage a broad range of materials that meet the surface finish and detail requirements needed for end-use parts.