Recently readers have speculated about the potential use of 3D printing technology to make coin replicas. While the technology is still young and limited in capability, the field is moving fast. One of the leaders in the field is 3D Systems. While they now sell affordable consumer-oriented 3D printers at Staples and other outlets, their traditional business is in industrial-strength printers for manufacturers. Here's an excerpt from a recent article about the company. I've highlighted some key phrases in bold.
"And a few weeks ago we completed the acquisition of 81% of Phoenix System, a leading global provider of Direct Metal Selective Laser Sintering systems that's based in rearm fronts.
Phoenix designs manufactures and sells proprietary Direct Metal 3D Printers that can print chemically pure fully dense metal and ceramic parts from very fine powders with the granularity of 6 microns to 9 microns. Materials include stainless steel, tool steel, super alloys, nonferrous alloys, precious metals and alumina for a variety of advance aerospace automotive and patient specific medical device applications."
So we're talking about printing dense precious metals (ala silver and gold) with accuracy to 6 microns (= 0.006 mm)? The machine and materials wouldn't be cheap mind you, but could someone print passable copies of rare coins? Good enough to cover expenses and leave a fat profit behind?
To read the complete article, see:
3D Systems Can Hardly Meet Demand
To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NEW TECHNOLOGY CREATES NUMISMATIC ITEMS IN 3D
A 3D PRINTED BOOK OF TEXTURES AND RELIEFS
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JULY 21, 2013 : Scary Hobby Ramifications of 3D Printing
Wayne Homren, Editor
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