Carbon DLS™ Technology

High resolution prototypes and production parts

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Carbon® uses digital light projection, oxygen permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins to produce products with end-use durability, resolution and surface finish. This technology, along with Carbon’s custom liquid resins, unlocks new business opportunities and product designs previously impossible, including mass customization and on-demand inventory. The Carbon platform enables companies to bring products to market that were never thought possible.

Advantages of Carbon DLS™ Technology

Complex Geometry

Carbon can be used for parts with high levels of complexity

Rubber-like Flexibility

Carbon DLS technology offers both flexibility and strength

Part Production

The Carbon platform is suitable for end-use production, including low- volume, high-mix and mass production.


Parts made with Carbon DLS technology are durable and flexible

Material Selection

The Carbon platform offers the widest range of materials suitable for end-use, comparable to top injection molded materials.

Carbon DLS™ Technology Materials

Available Carbon DLS Materials

  • UMA 90 (Urethane Methacrylate)

Available Carbon DLS Materials

  • RPU 70 (Rigid Polyurethane)
  • FPU 50 (Flexible Polyurethane)
  • EPX 82 (Epoxy)
  • CE 221 (Cynate Ester)

Available Carbon DLS Materials

  • SIL 30 (Silicone)
  • EPU 40 (Elastomeric Polyurethane)

Carbon DLS™ Technology Finishes


Parts built with Carbon DLS technology will typically have a matte to semi-gloss surface finish depending on feature direction. DLS is the only 3D printing process where traditional layer stepping is not present. Extended protrusions will show vertical lines in the part that are parallel to the direction of growth. Supports are removed and mitigated as required.

Additional Finishes

Xometry can provide additional processing to meet your needs. For examples of our additional finishes, please refer to the Carbon section of our photo gallery.

Applications for Carbon DLS™ Technology

Rapid Prototyping

Rapid Prototyping

Carbon DLS technology can be used to create strong, flexible, colorful prototypes that withstand thermal, chemical, and mechanical stress

Functional Prototyping

Functional Prototyping

Carbon is ideal for high fidelity modeling of new ideas

Digital Manufacturing

Digital Manufacturing

Carbon is ideal for low & medium run production parts

Overview: What is Carbon DLS™ Technology?

Carbon DLS™ Technology Basics

Carbon uses digital light projection, oxygen-permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins to produce products with end-use durability, resolution and surface finish. This 3D printing technology is called Digital Light Synthesis™, or DLS for short. Another legacy term for the process is Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP). Along with Carbon’s custom liquid resins, DLS unlocks new business opportunities and product designs previously impossible, including mass customization and on-demand inventory of end-use products.

Carbon bridges, and sometimes substitutes, for processes like Urethane Casting and Injection Molding service production, because the materials are urethane-based or epoxy-based, giving excellent mechanical properties. There are even elastomer and silicone resins that outperform most additive manufactured rubber-like materials.

What differentiates Carbon from similar processes like Stereolithography (SLA) or PolyJet 3D prints is that the resin has a secondary thermal step which activates dormant epoxies or urethanes, making parts much stronger than UV-curing alone. Additionally, the DLS process is continuous, without stopping layer-by-layer as with most additive manufacturing. This gives the parts isotropic properties, meaning that strength is even regardless of orientation. This is a significant advantage over processes like Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), where Z-direction features can be much weaker than similar features built in the XY-direction.

General Tolerances

+/- 0.005” for the first inch is typical, plus +/- 0.002” for every inch thereafter. However, Xometry does not guarantee tolerances on the first attempt of a new design. Tolerance expectations can vary across different materials (e.g. elastomeric versus rigid materials).

Stresses during build, support strategy, and other geometry considerations may cause deviation in tolerances and flatness.

Parts with thicker geometries, flat or broad parts, and parts with uneven wall thicknesses may be prone to significant deviations or warp.

Improved tolerances may be possible with a manual quote review, after successful completion of a prototype build, and must be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Build Size

The typical build area is 7.4” x 4.6” x 12.8”. Parts with dimensions exceeding 4” x 4” x 6” will require manual review.

Pro Tip: For production, use the “two-finger” rule, where parts that are about the size of two fingers together (2” x 1” x 3”), or smaller, tend to have the best production economy of scale.

Build Orientation

Build orientation is determined by Xometry with the primary goal of optimizing prominent features or details while minimizing build height and support usage. Adding additional supports can often be justified if it helps to effectively reduce the chance of failures during the build.

Due to the isotropic nature of Digital Light Synthesis™, orientation may not affect the mechanical properties of the part but will dictate how and where support structure is used. In general, parts designed for DLS that have large broad flat sections are oriented at a minimum of 15-20 degrees from the platform to minimize cross-section per any given layer position.

Industries that use Carbon DLS™ Technology

Featured Carbon DLS™ Technology Resources

Video: Will It Break?

Video: Will It Break?

We put these 3D Printing materials to the test. Find out the results of our impact resistance challenge!

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