New 3D Printer May Revolutionize Diamond Industry

New 3D Printer May Revolutionize Diamond Industry

Lockheed Martin has filed a patent application for its 3D printer that can potentially print customized diamonds.

Diamonds are naturally formed as super-hard crystals with carbon atoms bonding together under extreme heat and pressure in the Earth’s core. According to 3DR Holdings, Lockheed Martin, aerospace and defense corporation, has 3D-printed a diamond. The company intends to produce diamond drill heads with complex geometries and other super-strong and lightweight tools including saws, knives and armor. The technology is theoretically capable of producing diamonds for jewelry.

The printer utilizes a carbon-based pre-ceramic polymer, called poly(hydridocarbyne), with a very similar structure to diamonds. The layers of the polymer and the ceramic powder are alternately placed in a preset shape by the printer. It pyrolyzes in an inert atmosphere at a heat above 100 degrees. The poly(hydridocarbyne) then crystallizes into a diamond.

The other discussion in the patent application is to use other pre-ceramic polymers such as nanodiamond powder. The full patent application is available at

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