Korean companies are few and far between in 3D printing. Given the advanced state of the Korean economy and their leadership in things such as chips, phones, and other electronics, one would have expected more companies in the country. One exception is Carima, the company that made a DLP 3D printer way back in 2009. Since then the firm has expanded and is available in many markets worldwide. Used in highly productive applications such as dental and jewelry; Carima continues to expand its product line into faster as well as larger units. With a focus on productivity, the firm is making specific models, resins, and tools available for particular applications such as ocular prosthetics while it also expands its service offering. We interviewed marketing manager Lizy Shin to find out more about the firm.
What is Carima?
Carima was born with the slogan ‘Realization of Imagination’. Currently, Carima is transforming from a 3D printer manufacturer to a company that provides total 3D printing solutions with hardware, software, materials, a 3D printing service, and training.
How do you differentiate yourselves?
Carima is pursuing a technology-intensive strategy based on R&D. Nearly half of our staff is working in the R&D section. With advanced printing technology, Carima is collaborating with Architecture, Engineering, Automobile and Sport shoe companies and is continuing to build a true 3D printing manufacturing system.
When did you get started?
CK INDUSTRY, established in 1983, was the predecessor of Carima and led the technological development of the photopolymer industry in the domestic market. After the advent of the digital era, we launched the world’s first DLP photo printing machine based on digital optical technology. In 2000, we established Carima to research and develop 3D printers and launched the first DLP 3D printer, the EV Master, in 2009. Carima has become a leader in the 3D printing industry in Korea and has launched a variety of 3D printers from industrial DLP 3D printers for professionals in the dental and Jewelry industries to 3D printers for the public. We’re trying to broaden our product line to address the specific needs of various industries.
▲ The IM2
How big are you?
Carima has supplied over 300 dental 3D printers to domestic medical companies in large quantities as an ODM. It’s a rare case where 3D printer manufacturers deliver them directly to the dental market. The IM2, signature 3D printer of Carima, launched in the second half of 2018, has been a success. over 250 units have been exported through overseas dealers and it has become a synonym for high-resolution 3D printers.
What do you hope to achieve?
Our product development has focused on the Dental, Jewelry and Figurines. Investing heavily in research and new technology, we have launched a large 3D printer and materials that are required in the fields of Architecture, Engineering and Medical. Customers can look at various industrial materials such as Urethane, HTR, HRN, silicone and ceramics. We hope to introduce more of our products in the industrial fields soon.
Why should I buy one of your printers?
I would suggest that if I were you, you would buy more than ten our printers instead of one. The current business tends to build a large 3D printer system, rather than one or two, to create a variety of products within a limited time. It saves much more time and maximizes productivity of your 3D printer.
What does your tray case do?
Carima Tray case is an accessory for user’s convenience to maintain 3D printer (for the applicable Model: the IM2). There were lots of requests for a storage box that customers can use to easily handle the remaining liquid photopolymer resins in the trays. Up to 5 trays can be stored at once. And the resin can be stored for a certain period of time because it prevents not only foreign substances such as dust but also UV light from natural light.
And your curing stations?
Carima has launched advanced curing machine(the CL-300) for dental use. It features two UV LED 150Ws which can be used in a short time(curable within 3 minutes for our crown resin based on our own experimental results). With each different material it automatically applies parameters to radiate the appropriate amount of light for user’s convenience. After post-curing, there’s bright and tooth-like color output exactly as is required in the dental field. We believe that our new curing machine is a fascinating product for the dental market when combined with the IM2 3D printer.
What kinds of applications do your customers use your printers for?
Carima’s flagship product IM2 is the representative product which is used in a wide range of Jewelry, Dental, Prototype, Mock-up and Figurines applications that require a high resolution and high-precision output. Jewelers use Carima 3D printers and wax resin to 3D print rings, bracelets, chains. In the Dental field, many dental practicioners and laboratories use Carima 3D printers.
What developments in 3D Printing are you excited about?
The 3D printing industry is in a situation where hardware, software, and material solutions have to be specialized for each industry that actually uses 3D printers. The 3D printing industry is being reorganized into 3D printing Tech-on-demand particularly in the medical/bio sector. Carima has established its affiliate company, 3DKare, which is located in Ulsan city, in order to develop medical 3D printing services and materials such as artificial organs, artificial eyes, cells, blood vessels, and nerves. And we are ready to apply C-CAT(Carima Continuous Additive 3D Printing Technology) to medical/bio sector as well. For example, we believe that it is important to 3D print in a short time in order to perform fast transplantation to the patient. Carima’s bio 3Dprinter can be used to 3D print a heart-sized object within 10 minutes. Medical/Bio 3D printing technology is expected to develop apace in the future.
Are your printers being used for manufacturing?
In particular, figurine companies are carrying out their business with mass production systems with Carima 3D printers. They are making baby figures, wedding figures, companion animal figures, and celebrity figurines. They are also selling famous figurines(which are exclusive to licenses) through distribution network such as convenience stores nationwide.
How are resins improving?
Carima has been investing in material development for a long time with an R&D team that studies various photopolymer resins. We are also working with chemical companies in the US, Japan and the Netherlands to research and develop materials suitable for Carima’s 3D printer.
How is the dental market using your printers?
The IM2 features high precision and high resolution output. It offers 50μm resolution(X/Y), so it can 3D print precisely. Because of 99% uniformity, it is used in applications such as surgical guides, C & B, dentures, dental model and splints. Dental professionals use it as C&B, temporary Crown and surgical guide that minimizes incision during implant surgery. And dental Laboratories print out orthodontic models using Carima’s 3D printer and resins.