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A Beginner's Guide to 3D Printed Jewelry

on Jul 29, 2016 8:33 AM

3D printing is everywhere, but it still feels a bit like science fiction.

You’ve likely heard of 3D printing or seen it used on TV (3D printed organs on Grey’s Anatomy, anyone?). Maybe you even have access to a 3D printer at school or work. But have you considered 3D printed jewelry?

Many designers and jewelers have adopted this technology and are taking jewelry design to a whole new level.

How 3D Printing Works

3D printing isn't as futuristic and complex as it sounds. In the most basic terms, to print something in 3D, you simply layer whatever material you're working with over and over until it creates the shape you desire.

 

Designing 3D Printed Jewelry

Before 3D printing, designers created wax molds by hand - like this.

While some designers prefer this hands-on approach, others have taken to digital design for their creative outlet.

Jewelry designers like Nervous System are using 3D printing to create truly custom jewelry pieces.

Here's how it works:

1. Designers create a 3D model out of wax.

2. The wax mold is then encased in a plaster-like substance called investment.

3. The investment is then heated to extreme temperatures, creating an impression.

4. The impression is then filled with liquid precious metal to create the jewelry item.

The end result is something like this:

3D Printed Jewelry - Engagement Ring

Photo courtesy: Nervous System

 

How You Can Take Advantage of 3D Printed Jewelry

Whether the cost savings or the customization possibilities appeal to you, there are several ways you can utilize 3D printing in your next jewelry shopping endeavor.

Buy Ready-to-Wear Jewelry

Several designers sell 3D printed jewelry, such as these found on Etsy and i.materialise. These items are printed in finished material, like silver or gold, and are ready to wear, usually at a great price.

Four Strand Braided Ring

Photo courtesy: i.materialise

 

Design Your Own and Have it Printed

Companies like Hot Pop Factory and Shapeways allow you to design your own piece of art, or work with one of their talented designers to do so. They then use their 3D printers to create your custom piece.

With unlimited resources, what would you choose to create?

Use 3D Printing to Design Traditional Jewelry

Maybe 3D printed jewelry feels too inauthentic. You still want a traditional ring with handmade craftsmanship, but you want it to be unique. Why not use 3D printing as part of your custom design process?

Your local jeweler may already be equipped with 3D printing technology that can create a wax mold you can actually try on.

This way, you may realize you don’t like how the ring looks on your hand, or perhaps the band is too thick. By seeing the item beforehand, you may be able to make important changes to your design before it is set in stone (pun intended).

Ask your jeweler if 3D printing can be part of your custom design process.

Do you have jewelry printed in 3D? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

 

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Comments

no doubt 3d printing growing very fast, but authentic jewelry is always better.

segal Jewelry

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

We certainly love authentic jewelry around here! It will be interesting to see how traditional jewelry and 3D printed jewelry combine as the industry evolves.

Chelsea Drusch

I was not aware of the concept of 3D printed jewellery and after reading this blog I am quite interested to see how it looks like in reality. Considering the high cost of real gold jewellery, I think this jewellery has great future. I believe it’s a lovely way to create signature jewellery.

Arnav Desai

This blog is really impressive because of the thorough guide of how to Design authentic jewellery as well as figured out about 3d printing designs advantage, although I am a beginner in this sector after reading this blog it makes sense to me how to do this type of work. And Before visiting your site also visited binashree which provides similar service but I didn't get things well. But your site helped me a lot really
keep it up......

Sitendu Basak

Thanks for helpful article!

ufo 3d

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