Is it bol­locks?

Film Buff in­ves­ti­gates the facts be­hind out­landish movie plots.

Total Film - - Contents -

Ocean’s 8’s 3D printer tech: flaw­less or a to­tal con?

q San­dra Bul­lock’s heist team pro­duces a 3D printed replica of a price­less neck­lace to re­place the real thing. Pos­si­ble? Or high-carat non­sense? a Fer­nandO her­nan­dez, md oF emea aT XYZpRinTing From the team’s first step in pro­duc­ing the replica – us­ing glasses to 3D scan the neck­lace – we come up against the realms of im­pos­si­bil­ity. Firstly, the glasses wouldn’t be able send data from Cartier’s sub­ter­ranean vault. Se­condly, get­ting such an ac­cu­rate and de­tailed scan of the neck­lace, from just a sin­gle an­gle, first time around, wouldn’t be pos­si­ble with to­day’s high-end scan­ners, let alone just a pair of glasses.

The ma­te­ri­als used to make the neck­lace present fur­ther is­sues. The metal they use is zir­co­nium. It looks very sim­i­lar to the metal of the orig­i­nal neck­lace but has a very high melt­ing point – 1,855°C to be pre­cise. This is sig­nif­i­cantly above the ca­pa­bil­ity of cur­rent SLM or DMLS (metal) 3D print­ers and will be for some time yet.

Hav­ing printed the metal, the Ocean’s team then move on to cre­at­ing var­i­ous di­a­monds and jewels. Crys­tal print­ing of this type doesn’t ex­ist quite yet. At best it would be a semi-trans­par­ent resin and cre­ate an easy to spot fake. So for now, this tech is cer­tainly not true to life.

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