Technology

Jewelry designers are joining the 3D printing revolution

In the past. 3D printed jewelry was an utopia. People believed it would never actually happen. It might be part of a sci-fi movie, but actually use a 3D print service in order to create jewelry? It sounded impossible, but that is no longer the case. In fact, more and more jewelry designers have started to use 3D printing in order to produce their designs. 3D printed jewelry is actually going to become mainstream very soon since the printed piece feels and looks exactly the same like the traditional ones. 

What do you need in order to 3D print jewelry?

Well, that is a question with a lot of possible answers. This is the case since 3D printing includes a ton of different techniques, just like CNC services. Therefore, it depends on the printer. Some use powder, others use a resin, while others work with filament. However, they do have something in common. You namely need a 3D file to 3D print jewelry. This tells the printer what it is supposed to print. You create the 3D files with the help of special 3D modeling software. RhinoGold is for example a program focused on designing jewelry. However, you might also use a free app such as Tinkercad. On top of that, you could decide to use a design that someone else created and uploaded on a website such as Thingiverse. After you have the 3D file the printer will use this information in order to 3D print a real physical item. 

Which 3D printing technologies are used by jewelry designers?

If you want to create a jewelry piece in brass, copper, bronze, silver, or gold you have to use Lost-Wax Printing and Casting. This method uses a bit of modern 3D printing technology, but traditional metal casting is employed too. The process starts with 3D printing the model in wax. The 3D printer will use a wax-like resin as the material. Afterwards, more wax sprues will be attached. The model will be attached by the sprue to a wax tree with other models. This is placed in a flask and covered in a fine plaster. Once this solidifies, it forms the mold for casting the metal. The plastic model is then put in an oven and heated for a few hours until the wax is burned out. The jewelry piece has thus been completed.

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