3DSytems’ new Figure 4 range uses a ‘non-contact membrane DLP’ system, so it sounds very much like something similar to the Carbon machine. So there may be a number of ways to get around the Carbon membrane patents. Whether these will become available to the smaller manufactures in the near future is a whole different question. The Figure 4 printer start at just less than £20k for a standalone machine with build envelope the is less than half the size of a Form2.
From what I have read Carbon seems to be pursuing a course which focuses on resin chemistry, they already have a number of two part resins. I suppose a subscription model would allow them to able to swap out the light source to match the customer’s use of the more exotic resins.
If I remember correctly, Carbon is using a type of Teflon AF which is very expensive to make(high permeability of oxygen). Their subscription price is quite extreme for the average prototyping company, indeed some two part resins(which have quite the manual how to process them). But those resins do have some very interesting capabilities as well(we are shifting to using Carbon materials instead of Formlabs).
Even if they could make a small business priced machine… Say 20k. I still expect it would be too cumbersome for the average formlabs user to use these materials and a lot of work for formlabs educating non-specialists…