De Beers Uses 3D Printers for Diamond Testing

After aerospace, automotive, and health, the jewel magnets seem to take the plunge towards 3D printing. De beers, the British diamond company believes that 3D printing could be beneficial for them. They previously launched the Stratasys 360mc 3D printer for diamond testing and are now looking forward to using the Stratasys Dimension 1200es 3D for future ventures.

De Beers is the world leader in diamond retailing, processing, mining, and exploration. It started its business from the South Africa diamond rush in the 1880’s and has grown manifold since then. It is known for the manufacturing of the best conflict-free diamonds to the market.

The engineers at the research and development facility, De Beers Technologies UK in Maidenhead, Berkshire, are engaged in the development and manufacture of the equipment required for diamond sorting and treatment, diamond verification and grading, and synthetic diamond detection.

These processes are performed at amazingly high speeds of eight diamonds per second.

The Technical Manager Trevor Poulter stated that though they were initially outsourcing the 3D printing processes, they decided on buying one after analyzing the amount of 3D printing work that they were engaged in.

The 3D printing process proved a very cost-effective program for machining and casting equipment, and the machine seems to be running continuously. The Fortus 360mc can be used for R&D to enhance the speed of production.

Senior Mechanical Engineer Andrew Portsmouth said that 3D printing enabled his team to incorporate new ideas and develop new pieces immediately.

After the success of Fortus 360mc, De Beers’ engineers decided on buying a second 3D printer (a Stratasys Dimension 1200es). They finalized a different machine this time, to experiment with varied material and production options. Dimension 1200es gives 3D print result in ABS plus thermoplastic at differing layer thicknesses of 0.254 or 0.33mm coupled with a larger build envelope at 254 x 254 x 305mm.


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