The European Project DIPLAT, “Enabling advanced functionalities of Diamond and other ultra-hard materials by Integrated Pulsed Laser Ablation Technologies”, consist on the application of pulsed laser ablation technologies for the fabrication of high performance tools.
Thanks to the laser technology is possible to generate complex 3D shapes and what it is even more difficult: to build it in ultra hard materials like diamonds.
The diamond used in this project is called polycrystalline diamond (PCD) and it is obtained synthetically by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) or by high temperature – high pressure (HPHT) techniques. In the projects it is also being used cubic boron nitride, the second hardest material after PCD, which is obtained in similar conditions. These fabrication methods allows to assure the material properties.
In the left image it can be observed a cut made by the conventional method of electro discharge machining and at right the cut made by pulsed laser ablation of a polycrystalline diamond. The surface obtained in the second case is much more precise and it is better defined.