With 3d printing technology, you have the liberty of creating distinct and detailed designs on pieces of jewelry with precision. Nowadays, 3d printed jewelry is a craze in the fashion industry. It has captured big markets and attracted many consumers by offering the latest designs, textures, prints, and customization.
You can easily 3d print them at your place with the help of a 3d printer, designing and processing software, and guiding tutorials available online. But before starting your hands on them, you need to learn about the basics and all-important processes involved in 3d printed pieces of jewelry. Let’s get started.
Importance Of 3d Printing In Jewelry Making
For ages, we have had traditional ways of making jewelry by professional goldsmiths and artisans. But now, 3d printing has emerged as an alternative for making jewelry because it offers certain advantages and benefits that are restricted to traditional ways.
One of the foremost benefits of 3d printed jewelry is the customization advantage. It offers to experiment with detailed designs and minute details with precision in customized ways. You can design your prints and select materials as well.
Unique Designs And Prints
3D printed jewelry is made through computer-programmed files. You can create or download available designs from the internet to print them. It is possible to create intricate designs and ornamentation in 3d printing. Moreover, netizens can share their programmed files of unique designs and prints with each other. It allows the users to create and share their creativity with the masses.
Faster Production And Cost-Effective
By using 3d printing technology, you can create hundreds of identical pieces faster and cheaper. 3d printing is better for printing multiple designs again and again without any differentiation. It is cost-effective and saves human labor.
Methods For 3D Printing Jewelry
As for 3d printing jewelry, we rely on the following methods.
The investment casting method is the most commonly used technique for making 3d printed jewelry. It is a combination of modern and traditional methods for jewelry-making. Instead of using the traditional casting and molding process, you can directly 3d print the model from the resin by using Stereolithography and Digital Light Processing.
After the model creation, you have to submerge it into chemical solutions to form outer layering. Then, place it in a furnace to drain inner resin and pour melted metal into it. Leave it to cool down and solidify before final polishing. Different metals can be used to make jewelry by investment casting.
Direct 3D printing
Using the Direct 3d Printing method, you can print jewelry directly by resins and metal powders in a 3d printer. However, it is less popular than Investment Casting due to its expensive setup. But it is more efficient than the former. In Direct 3d Printing, you can print different metal alloys and assemble the parts before post-processing.
You have to process through direct metal laser sintering and selective laser melting techniques in direct 3d printing to print metal parts. However, it has drawbacks of high printing temperature that results in warping and removal of resins. It also requires high post-processing costs. Apart from this, it has limitations on printing and engraving sizes.
Software For Designing 3D Printed Jewelry
Software plays a very crucial role in designing and printing 3d jewelry. You can scale minute details and engravings suitable to the ornaments. It allows you to visualize the designs in reality. Some of the best software available for this purpose is-
Firestorm CAD Software
Firestorm CAD software is compatible with other CAD software as well while working on gemstones. It is good for editing designs with intricate detailing. It has a lot of prior information regarding design templates, sizes, shapes, and materials that will save you a lot of time.
3Design software is one of the most user-friendly CAD. It gives realistic images of the model before the final printing. You can monitor every detailed texture and design with its high-resolution features.
Rhinogold software is one of the best options for 3d printed jewelry. Most professional jewelers prefer it because of its CAD program. It is specifically designed to cut precious stones to create varied angles and geometrical patterns. You can easily personalize designs, engravings, and details with minimum effort by using this software.
It shows you virtual images of the final product in a realistic manner where you can edit and save wastage of precious stones, money, and time. To get the software, you need to pay a $4,100 license fee. A 90-day full version trial is also available for free.
MatrixGold is an advanced CAD tool and a combination of RhinoGold’s features and CounterSketch’s simplified interface. It uses previous data and a better resizing tool for jewelry designing. This software is a better choice if you plan to print for the masses or as a professional jeweler. It is easier to work with gemstones by using this software as it allows to adjust the sizes and angles of the print.
It is a jewelry-specific template software for making customized jewelry. You can create, store, save and share your unique designs and sketches made in this software. It is very consumer-centric software where you can easily reach out to manufacturers and outsource for completing the tasks.
Best 3d Printers For 3D Printing Jewelry
3D Systems Figure 4 Jewelry
It can print and cast the model at high print speeds, up to 15 mm per hour, when printing at a resolution of 30 microns. You do not need to spend too much time on post-processing. For more details, check here.
Solidscape S325 and S325+ Wax Resin Printers
These printers are well known for their high speed and precision, respectively. They are fully automated printers with a medium-sized printing chamber. For more details, check here.
A large range of 3d printers are available; check out the important rest printers for this purpose here.
Materials Used For 3D Printing Jewelry
3d printed jewelry comes in various metals and non-metals. Some of the preferred metals are Brass, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. You can use metal powders for 3d printing. Such metals provide glossy finish, luster, outer-plating, and coating to pieces of jewelry.
Other printable materials include polyamide, aluminide, nylon, and plastic. Even you can blend these materials with other metal powders to enhance their properties and better texture.
Different Pieces Of Jewelry That You Can 3d print
Unique designs of 3d printed rings are available online on sites like Thingiverse, where you can get a glimpse of them, and even you can download the free CAD files to print by yourself. Be it studded or non-studded rings, 3d printers allow you to create your designs.
You can 3d print different types of bracelet textures and designs. Many experiments are already done with unique figures like snake-figurine, fidget-shaped, multipurpose bracelets, geometric features, wraps, and laces.
Necklace and Pendant set
For 3d printing necklace pendants, you can rely on 3d printing technology. It is possible to print unique and intricate detailings with perfection with 3d printing. Some of the available software also lessen a lot of post-processing labor. Some of the latest designs available on the internet are here.
Earrings are one of the most 3d printed jewelry that you can experiment with. The design ranges from dragon-wings, pyramid, geometrical-shaped, studded, plain filament, and animal shapes. You can get the CAD files for such intricate details from Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, and Cults.
You can 3d print jewelry boxes, stands, holders, and trendy crafts for storage purposes. Check out some of the quirky 3d jewelry storage on the sites like Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, and Cults.
Advantages Of 3D Printing Jewelry
Now you have come across many jewelry pieces that can be 3d printed at your wish. Even you can rely on 3d printing of jewelry pieces not only for individual purposes but also for entrepreneurial endeavors. Some of the important advantages offered by 3d printing of jewelry are-
Customization And Experimentation
This is the topmost advantage of 3d printing, where you can create your unique designs, intricate detailing, and embellishment. Even, you can experiment with different materials for different designs and kinds. In the 3d printing method gives the freedom to create 3d files of intimate geometrical designs that can easily be engraved with much precision.
3d printed jewelry is not as heavy as traditional ones because you have the liberty to 3d print in light metals and plastic. Even heavy-looking 3d printed jewelry has hollow structures.
Quality And Texture
Unlike manual labor, 3d printing offers consistency in prints with a professional approach. You get fine prints and superior quality at a lesser price.
Mass Production At Faster Rate
3D printing allows you to print identical parts in bulk at a faster pace. One 3d file is capable of printing hundreds of jewel pieces.
Things To Consider While 3D Printing Jewelry.
It would help if you considered a couple of things before starting to 3d print jewelry. Firstly, decide about the technology you are going to use, like SLA or DMLS. The materials will be either resin-based or wax filaments. They are crucial to determine the quality resolution and capability of the printing materials.
To print fine details on small jewelry and the printing speed of the printer is important. It should be capable of printing different materials and resins. It would be best if you looked into the expenses of production and materials. Before buying 3d printer for this purpose, look for its durability, compatibility, and post-processing features along with its maintenance cost.
Limitation of 3D Printed Jewelry
While 3d printing gives freedom to create the latest designs and embellishment, it has some limitations that we cannot overlook.
3d printing boasts of creating mechanical jewelry parts. However, we cannot deny that it still needs manual post-processing. It involves human labor in the entire process. Even during the production stage, we require to monitor the programmed function.
Losing Hand-Touch Effect
Another limitation of 3d printing is losing the manual designs and human-touch done from generations. Nowadays, you need CAD files instead of specialist designers. But it still lacks something that human charm offers.
Sizes Of Details
It affects engravings and features in very large sizes or parts. It also restricts printing in varied sizes. You can 3d print 0.2 mm minimal details or engravings in SLA technology and 1mm in DMLS. However, manual labor allows you to overcome this limitation.
Remnants And Leftovers
It demands the careful removal of burnt resins and leftovers in the investment casting process. Otherwise, it will deform the surface of the mold. Cooled-off resins are stuck inside the casting and require manual labor. You should know and follow the recommended temperatures while 3d printing jewelry.
If you are doing 3d printing using SLA and DMLS technology, you need to remove cast support manually. However, DOD technology does not require it because it uses dissolvable support. 3d printed jewelry requires additional manual labor in post-processing.
How Much It Costs To 3D Print Jewelry
Both kinds of 3d printing jewelry methods have their benefits and limitations in terms of costing and expenditure. Important factors that affect the costing depends upon the processing material, printable sizes, and mass productions.
You also need to consider 3d files and software prices for 3d printed jewelry. While you will get free 3d files to download from the internet sites like Thingiverse and MyMiniFactory, most of the 3d files are paid versions. Even you will have to invest in a good 3d printer capable of jewelry printing and relevant software to complete the post-processing.
Future Of 3D Printed Jewelry
Gone are the days when jewelry-making was restricted to goldsmiths and manual labor. With the advancement of 3d printing, you can now 3d print your customized jewelry that will suit your personality and aura.
Well, we cannot deny that 3d printed jewelry has a bright future ahead because the technology is evolving rapidly with more advanced software and printers. Still, many jewelers are reluctant to switch over completely, but they have started bracing it gradually. With more customized jewelry demands with unique designs and detailing, 3d printing of jewelry is a better solution.
Leave a Reply