A 3D printing process that harnesses light and oxygen has been demonstrated at the Ted (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Vancouver.

Carbon3D said its “game-changing” process could make objects such as car parts, medical devices or shoes.

The technique was inspired by the film Terminator 2, in which the T-1000 robot rises from a pool of metallic liquid.

One independent expert told the BBC the technology showed huge potential, if the company’s assertions stood up.

“It’s not unusual for huge claims like this to be made,” said James Woodcock, group editor for TCT Magazine.

“But as it’s renowned experts working on it, it gives it some gravitas.”

Mushroom growing
On the Ted stage, the Carbon3D machine produced a plastic ball from a pool of resin in 10 minutes.

“It would traditionally take up to 10 hours to print this,” Carbon3D chief executive Prof Joseph DeSimone told the audience.

He said that current 3D printing methods had some fundamental flaws.