Carbon announces M2 3D printer with SpeedCell networking

Carbon has announced a new printer, the M2, together with a networking initiative, SpeedCell that links one or more M-series printer together and includes a Smart Part Washer.

Carbon’s SpeedCell concept networks the M1 and the new, larger M2 3D printers with the Smart Part Washer.

The M2 builds upon Carbon’s Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) technology and is essentially a larger version of the existing M1 that was announced roughly a year ago. It has double the build volume with the same 326mm build height as the M1 but a bigger base at 190x118mm over the M1’s 141x79mm. This allows for more parts per build as well as larger parts, both of which are essential requirements for scaling 3D printing up to real-world additive manufacturing. Carbon says that it also allows parts to be serialized to ensure part production quality and traceability throughout a part’s lifecycle. This ability to reach back into the build history of parts is essential for tightly regulated markets such as medical products.

The M2 can be interfaced with robots for automated part removal after the build. It also includes three “Carbon Connector” data and power expansion ports for expansion of production capabilities. This could include things like automated resin dispensing and temperature controlled resin cassettes though Carbon is still working out exactly which features to offer.

The SpeedCell initiative is potentially more interesting as it will help to overcome one of the major limitations of the M2 printers, namely that the relatively small build size limits the scope for volume production.

Carbon has put together two different configurations. The Design option couples one M Series printer with a Smart Part Washer and is primarily aimed at design and prototyping. The Production option is specifically designed for industrial manufacturing applications, pairs multiple production floor compatible M2 printers with a Smart Part Washer. This also helps eliminate the steps between prototyping and production since the same resins and printers are used for both.

SpeedCell also includes the Smart Part Washer that enables optimal cleaning and easy finishing of parts. This share a common interface with the build envelopes of the M1 and M2 so parts can be moved between systems easily and with minimal risk of damage. It uses near field communication readers so that washing can be validated and tracked. It also includes automated solvent handling and recycling-compatibility.

Carbon will continue with its pricing model, which essentially means that customers lease the machines rather than buying them outright. Thus the M1 costs

$40,000/year, the M2 is $50,000/year and the Smart Part Washer is $10,000/year though the Smart Part Washer is free for anyone taking a SpeedCell bundle with three or more M-series printers.

Carbon will be demonstrating the new SpeedCell concept at the AMUG 2017 show this week in Chicago.


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