3D Print a Tooth in Less than 10 Minutes using the Clip 3D Technology

The Continuous Liquid Interface Production technology known as CLIP 3D technology, is a new, faster 3D printing process that grows parts of photosensitive resin instead of printing them layer by layer as in the traditional 3D technology.


In the tradition 3D printing process, an object is printed using successive layers of material, in any shape or geometry. But one of the challenges that have for long faced 3-D printing is the slow speed, with parts taking hours or even days to complete printing. Other challenges are that the parts printed end up to be mechanically weak, and material choices are far too limited.

Faster Continuous Liquid Interface Production technology (CLIP) 3D technology
But recently there seem to be a breakthrough in 3D printing, with the announcement from the Carbon 3D company, that they have produced a CLIP 3D based printer. The new CLIP 3D technology printer is between 25 and 100 times faster than traditional 3D printers that require a number of mechanical steps, repeated over and over again. Speed is not the only selling point of the Carbon 3-D printer is that 3D CLIP printer grows parts out of photosensitive resin instead of printing them layer by layer.

CLIP 3D technology

The CLIP 3D printer uses a combination of UV light, which is used to harden certain parts, and permeable oxygen, which is used to liquefy the unwanted parts. The printer controls the lighting source and carefully balances it with oxygen to give you a seamless object out of a pool of the photosensitive resin with any mechanical step. Carbon3D CEO and co-founder Joseph DeSimone, say this technology is able to print object that would not have been possible to print using existing 3D technology.

3D printed tooth

During a TED conference held in March, Joseph DeSimone, who is a professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, talks of how Carbon3D printer can be used by dentists to print a 3D tooth as the patient waits. Tooth production is not new though, it has existed for some decades, commonly using a method called CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics), which uses scanners and 3D modeling software to carve out a new tooth from a piece of porcelain.

But the main advantage with Carbon3D CLIP 3D technology based printer is that, the dentist will be able to custom manufacture an object with intricate details, be it the grooves, crannies, or the valleys.

Additionally, according to DeSimone, the Carbon3D CLIP printer will be able to print a whole tooth in a record time of 6.5 minutes. Using the Continuous Liquid Interface Production method, the printers will produce consistent and predictable mechanical properties, eliminating the need to repeat the process due to errors.

Clinical test to test the viability of the perfectly fitting tooth is already on, and to see if the process could be done successfully as the patients waits in the surgeon room. The Carbon3D CLIP 3D technology makes it possible to exploit a huge range of materials desired for production-quality parts and this could open possibilities in the lucrative market for dental and medical prosthetics, where 3D printing could become a standard tool for a range of health practitioners.