I went and looked at what you are referring to.
Thanks for taking the time to look. Yes, I thought it was similar to
SLS (Selective Layer Sintering) too, which is also fascinating, but
the fact that EBM makes pieces directly in metal obviously caught my
To Richard Sewell,
it does sound as though you may be describing a 3D printing
That’s exactly what I’m talking about - I did try to explain.
This lot are using an electron-beam melting technique to do direct
3D printing of titanium alloys for bone implants
It is not Bathsheba’s process, which is sintering - it is precisely
Arcam’s technology which I’m talking about. I did post links to a
pdf file they’d written, and two YouTube videos they’d done, but I
don’t think they appeared on Orchid until yesterday, so replies to
that may still be in the ether.
I don't know if anyone is using this technology to produce
jewellery yet, but I'm sure they will be before long.
That was exactly my thought too.
To Steven Adler,
Actually this is not as silly as you might think perhaps just a
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I feel vindicated. As for the
premature bit, I did mean at some point in the future, rather than
at the present time. I understand that technologies have to be
developed further and that the process would need to evolve to be
made more suitable for our industry, and that costs would have to
come down (which always happens with technology).
one or two of the really well funded jewelry companies have
already purchased the technology.
Again, thank you! Not quite so premature after all then?!
The foremost system available is from Sweeden http://www.arcam.com
Yes, that is the company I have been talking about. I posted links
to some of their yesterday.
I have been working with the folks at NASA on the development of
newer systems that we will someday use for jewelry that also
incorporate electron beam melting called EBF3
I stumbled on the EBF3 technology when I was looking into EBM.
It’s taken a while to get people on track with what I was actually
talking about, but after quite a battle, I think I’m finally getting
So to sum up, it’s NOT the technology which Bathsheba is using to
make her gorgeous models - although that is very interesting too -
but it IS the technology which the company, ARCAM has (if I remember
correctly) patented, which makes fully dense models from metal
powder, the particles of which are fully melted by an electron beam
controlled by magnetic fields.
As for the technology being prohibitively expensive, costs always
come down with further development. My guess is that in the future,
they’ll have machines with multiple vacuum chambers all running at
once, growing many pieces rather than just one at a time. Electron
beam technology controlled by magnetic fields is hardly state of the
art technology either, just think of the cathode ray tube! and the
mass spectrometer which both use electron beams deflected by
magnetic fields - and they’ve been around for decades.
As I said yesterday, for those of you who think I’m mad, remember
where you heard it first, when you go to MJSA and see the technology
being demonstrated for use in jewellery manufacture. You might
think “oh yes, that crazy English woman was harping on about that a
few years ago!”.