If you thought 3D printing was kind of cool but hadn't really lived up to your sci-fi visions for what it should look like, then this video from 3D printing startup Carbon3D should give you some hope.
In it you'll see an object emerge from a pool of goo, much like that scene in Terminator 2 where the T-1000's shattered form gets heated up and comes back together before Robert Patrick emerges from a puddle of silvery liquid.
Carbon3D's technique is based on CLIP (Continuous Liquid Interface Production) technology which uses a resin that reacts to UV light and oxygen. This means you not only get nice and smooth 3D printed objects that appear to grow from a pool of liquid as the machine moves upwards, but the whole process is faster than the standard layer-by-layer technique that many machines current use.
Here's how the company describe CLIP:
It works by projecting light through an oxygen-permeable window into a reservoir of UV curable resin. The build platform lifts continuously as the object is grown. The heart of the CLIP process is a special window that is transparent to light and permeable to oxygen, much like a contact lens.
By controlling the oxygen flux through the window, CLIP creates a "dead zone"—a thin layer of uncured resin between the window and the object.
This makes it possible to grow without stopping. As a continuous sequence of UV images are projected, the object is drawn from the resin bath. Sophisticated software manages the entire process by controlling the variables.
But how long before we go from this?
Watch founder and CEO of Carbon3D Joseph DeSmione's TEDTalk about CLIP technology, below.