What if the designer in you also had the capability to materialise and physically create the artwork you sketched? ….creating your very own personalized jewelry by the push of a button. Well, with 3D printers now you can!
3D Printed Jewelry is no longer a distant reality. In fact, it’s already trending. Fashion designers, budding entrepreneurs, and 3D printing enthusiasts across the globe are experimenting and creating highly polished, complex, and beautiful jewelry pieces. Ranging from earrings, necklaces, bangles and what not.
3D printing has a plethora of applications, but most of these fall within the technological and healthcare domain. So, what role can it play in fashion & lifestyle? Let’s find out.
Producing Jewelry with 3D Printers
Use of machines in making jewelry is not new, mass produced pieces are usually machine molded. When personalisation or uniqueness is a priority then often hand-crafting is the way to do it… involving additional time, effort and costs. However, 3D printing brings some amazing benefits here, such as –
- Detailing: The traditional methods of jewelry production have limitations in geometries and details. With 3D printing you can easily produce complex jewelry pieces with greater accuracy.
- Time-Saving: Crafting jewelry manually is extremely time-intensive, especially for designs that are complex and intricate. Producing the same with 3D printers can reduce the time-to-market to a great extent.
- Perfection: No matter how skilled an artist is, creating jewelry by hands always leaves some room for imperfections. On the other hand, 3D printers are capable of producing almost perfect, if not completely perfect jewelry pieces.
Commonly used materials for printing jewelry
Metals are the most common materials used in 3D printed jewelry for obvious reasons, with silver, bronze, gold, brass, etc. being the most popular choices. However, you also have a choice of non-metals such as alumide (combination of aluminium powder and polyamide), ceramics, flexible plastics, etc. While the kind of designs, preference of texture and feel govern the material choice, much also depends on the printer’s precision in printing jewelry.
Jewelry 3D Printing in the news
3D printed jewelry hype is not just limited to individuals and small business owners. Even big jewelry companies have jumped on the bandwagon. A perfect example of this is the partnering of online diamond jeweler Baunat with Twikit for making custom-made high-end diamond necklaces with 3D printing. In fact, you can personalize your desired custom diamond necklace on their website and they will make it for you. Give your name and choose the metal (red gold, 18 Kt white gold, or yellow gold) and get it ordered online!
Indian jewelry startup Melorra, which raised $5 million in a successful seed round the previous year, is using 3D printing to fulfil customer orders in a cost-effective manner. More than 60% of the designs by Melorra sell below $450 allowing the women to flaunt exclusive and stylish jewelry without burning a hole in their pockets.
Other 3D Printed Fashion Applications
One of the biggest advantages of 3D printing in fashion is extreme personalization, and its application in footwear, spectacle frames and customised gifts is looking quite promising already. It’s surprising to find something so techie like a 3D printer adding value to the fashion industry. Experts are already speculating how the technology will affect our lives in the future. For instance, it’s possible that in future we might create our own clothes with 3D printing machines, and once bored simply recycle the material for a different set! Artificial leather is also another speculation that the fashion designers are excited about.
With endless possibilities sprouting, the rise and adoption of 3D printing may well prove to be the next disruptive technology to the fashion world!