Sandvik creates first diamond composite for 3D printing
Super-hard build material provides high heat conductivity, low density and exceptional corrosion resistance.
At the RAPID + TCT show in Detroit last week, Sandvik Additive Manufacturing announced it has created the first ever 3D printed composite diamond, the hardest natural material that can now be 3D printed in complex shapes. According to the company, difference between its diamond and natural or synthetic diamond is that Sandvik’s is a composite material. Most of the material is diamond, but to make it printable and dense it needs to be cemented in a very hard matrix material.
“The additive manufacturing process used is highly advanced,” explained Mikael Schuisky, Head of R&D and Operations at Sandvik Additive Manufacturing. “We are printing in a slurry consisting of diamond powder and polymer using a method called stereolithography, where complex parts are produced, layer by layer, using ultraviolet light.”
After 3D-printing, parts are put through a post processing method that makes it possible to achieve the properties of the super-hard diamond composite. The diamond composite has been tested and found to have extremely high hardness, exceptional heat conductivity, while also possessing low density, very good thermal expansion and exceptional corrosion resistance.
The diamond composite has been tested and found to have extremely high hardness, exceptional heat conductivity, while also possessing low density, very good thermal expansion and fantastic corrosion resistance.
“We now have the ability to create strong diamond composites in very complex shapes through additive manufacturing, which fundamentally will change the way industries will be able to use this material. As of now, the only limit to how this super-hard material can be shaped and used is down to the designer’s imagination,” Mikael Schuisky concluded.