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Carbon CEO Joe DeSimone holding a football helmet with 3D printed inserts using the new L1 printer. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Carbon, whose unique 3D printing technology makes it suited for both prototyping and mass production, is moving into some new areas thanks to a larger version of its printer.

Why it matters: The technology, which builds parts "Terminator 2"-style from a pool of liquid resin, has already found a range of uses from car parts to sneakers to dental prosthetics.

Details: Carbon's new 3D printer, known as the L1, is 10 times bigger than the original and 5 times bigger than the current version (known as M2). That makes it better suited to both larger size parts as well as for mass production.

  • Adidas has been using the new machines for the last year for their 4D line of running shoes, while new customer Riddell is using it to 3D print custom inserts for football helmets for NFL players.
  • The Carbon-printed pieces replace standard foam with a lattice structure that can be tailored based on a player's position and eventually to an individual's playing style. Linemen, for example, need more protection for front impact, while receivers are more likely to be hit from the side.

Yes, but: A big question is whether the new helmets make a meaningful difference in player safety.

  • "Everything we’ve tested makes us believe it's the safest helmet," says Carbon vice presicent of business development Phil DeSimone. "That doesn't necessarily mean the sport is safe as a whole," he said.

Meanwhile: The company expects to have 1,000 of its printers installed by the end of this year.

  • It doesn't sell them outright, but rather offers them on a subscription basis, along with its software and cloud service, with the M2 running at $50,000 per year.
  • Carbon hasn't disclosed pricing for the new L1. But, the average customer also buys around $20,000 per printer per year in materials.

Go deeper

Scoop: FDA chief called to West Wing

Stephen Hahn. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has summoned FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to the West Wing for a 9:30am meeting Tuesday to explain why he hasn't moved faster to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: "Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision."

Scoop: Schumer's regrets

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images   

Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.