An additive manufacturing and printing company known as Sandvik has found a revolutionary way to use the hardest natural material on the planet- diamond. This manufacturing company has created the first-ever 3D printed diamond composite. While this 3D printed diamond composite does not sparkle, it is perfect for a wide range of industrial uses. This super-hard material can now be printed in 3D in highly complex shapes.
Diamond is a material that is harder than anything else in nature. It is one of the key components when it comes to a wide range of wear-resistant tools in the industry such as mining and drilling to machining and medical implants. A diamond by its nature is hard, complicated to machine and close to impossible to form complex shapes. It became possible to produce a synthetic diamond in 1953. But since it’s so hard and complicated to machine, it makes it almost impossible to form complex shapes.
Utilizing additive manufacturing, Sandvik has managed to 3D-print diamond composites that can be formed in almost any shape. This big breakthrough has opened up the possibility of using it in applications that were previously considered impossible.
With the ability to create strong diamond composites in very complex shapes through additive manufacturing, the only limit to how this super-hard material can be shaped and used is down to the designer’s imagination. This development will fundamentally change the way industries will be able to use this material.
The distinction between Sandvik’s diamond and natural or synthetic diamond is that Sandvik’s is a composite material. The majority of the material is diamond, but to make it printable and dense it needs to be cemented in a very hard matrix material, therefore, retaining the most important physical properties of pure diamond.
Sandvik’s 3D printed diamond composite has opened new pathways for industries that rely on diamonds for industrial, manufacturing, and design work. Industries can now use diamond in applications and shapes never conceived possible before. This innovation will allow industries to print anything, in any shape – in diamond.
On testing, this diamond composite has been found to have extremely high hardness, exceptional heat conductivity, at the same time possessing low density, very good thermal expansion, and fantastic corrosion resistance. This 3D printed diamond composite has certainly paved the way for limitless possibilities for various industries.