TED2015: This incredible 3D printer 'grows' objects out of liquid

3D-printing may have just had its proper “wow” moment on the first day of TED2015 in Vancouver, Canada.

Watch this and try not to think of the moment T-1000 stepped out of liquid metal in Terminator 2:

The extraordinary process was demonstrated by Carbon3D, which says it has found a way to harness light and oxygen to print a range of 3D shapes from shoes to medical devices.

And yes, they admit they were inspired by the T-1000.

While the video above was sped up seven times, Carbon3D showed its machine on stage producing a plastic ball from a pool of resin in 10 minutes.

“It would traditionally take up to 10 hours to print this,” Carbon3D chief executive Prof Joseph DeSimone told the audience, adding that traditional 3D printing was actually “2D printing over and over”.

The light hardens the resin, he said, and oxygen counteracts the hardening. Control the levels of both and you can create intricate shapes.

DeSimone told the BBC the printer can conceivably print teeth “while the patient sits in the dentist’s chair”.

Carbon3D plans to have its printer on the market “within a year”.


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