The project is spearheaded by PlatForum, a joint venture by Lonmin and the Central University of Technology, North West University and Vaal University of Technology. Together a team of academics overcame the challenge of printing with the massively dense platinum powder by adapting their EOSINT M280 3D printer machine to include a density reduction unit.
The team then tested using platinum in 3D printing on small items that are complexly designed like jewellery. Wilma Swarts, Lonmin’s group head of marketing and commercial services, tells Business Insider SA that they printed several development prototypes which include a platinum ring, pendant and other items.
Recently Lonmin has invested in a new 3D metal printer, the ORLAS Creator, with a price tage of up to R3.5 million. Entrepreneurs will get access to the 3D printer to test their proposed platinum products, Lonmin says.
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