If you thought designing your own jewelry was amazing enough, then brace yourself. You can soon not only design diamond jewelry but also have it em printed at the click of a button, all while being cozy at home.
Lockheed Martin has invented a 3D printer that can print virtually any shape made out of diamonds, albeit synthetic. Being an aerospace company, this printer is primarily intended to make drill heads with complex geometries. But the technology is so versatile that it’s also capable of making custom diamond jewelry.
While most 3D printers out there use a combination of plastic, ceramic and metal, this new 3D printer uses a pre-ceramic polymer such as poly(hydridocarbyne).
To form the 3D object, the printer deposits ceramic powder and pre-ceramic polymer and heats the deposits to temperatures above 100 degrees in an inert atmosphere. The high temperature causes pyrolysis of the pre-ceramic polymer resulting in formation of poly-crystalline diamond. Alternatively, the technology is also designed to use nanodiamond powder to form the diamond based object.
When this technology reaches the stores, you could very well be printing your own engagement ring!
Publication number: US 20160214272
Patent Title: 3-D Diamond Printing Using a Pre-Ceramic Polymer with a Nanoparticle Filler
Publication date: 28 Jul 2016
Filing date: 4 Apr 2016
Inventors: David G. Findley;
Original Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation