Custom injection molder Diversified Plastics Inc. (DPI; Minneapolis, MN) has joined the Carbon Production Network (CPN), a program from Carbon Inc. (Redwood City, CA) that lets customers produce prototypes and end-use parts using Carbon’s digital manufacturing process.
Combining hardware, software and molecular science, Carbon’s proprietary Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology fuses light, oxygen-permeable optics and programmable liquid resins to economically produce parts with excellent mechanical properties, resolution and surface finish. Carbon’s technology enables the manufacture of nonporous parts, comparable to injection molded parts, using a wide selection of engineering-grade materials.
“Traditional plastic injection molding requires tooling. Until we have the tool in place, there is little DPI can do from a manufacturing standpoint,” said Kevin Hogan, CEO of Diversified Plastics. “Carbon’s digital manufacturing technology doesn’t need tooling. This opens new markets for us and offers manufacturing solutions to customers who don’t want to invest in a steel tool for injection molding.”
Hogan told PlasticsToday that the company’s investment in Carbon’s printing equipment and its partnership within the CPN will give DPI the ability to provide alternative solutions to customers’ requirements at all levels. “We have customers that just need a certain quantity of parts that do not require tooling,” he said.
CPN is an elite ecosystem of industry design firms and contract manufacturers that have implemented Carbon’s technology and demonstrated advanced capabilities in additive manufacturing, design, production, urethane casting, machining and injection molding. The network currently includes more than 20 U.S. partners, and is rapidly growing, according to Carbon.
“An important part of Carbon’s strategy is to empower manufacturers and injection molders with the many benefits of digital fabrication,” commented Dana McCallum, Head of Production Partnerships at Carbon. “By being part of the Carbon Production Network, our partners leverage a truly scalable, complete digital manufacturing platform that offers a faster process and creates high-quality, end-use parts with properties similar to injection molding and urethane casting.”
Digital manufacturing is backed by DPI’s in-house design for manufacturing assistance, inspection, injection molding, cleanroom assembly and packaging expertise. Carbon allows many parts, including some components that were previously not manufacturable, to be produced economically, explained DPI’s announcement. Precision components are manufactured without the time or expense of creating molds and are inspected under the company’s stringent quality system.