Selling on Precarious Online Retail Platforms and the Trouble with Etsy and Shapeways – The Dark Side of New Technology Part 2

For my second article in the “Dark Side of New Technology” series, I want to discuss the unintended side-effects of 3D model marketplaces and online retail and service platforms, as well as what can be done to fix these problems.

image courtesy

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Hungry Social Media Versus The Creative Mind – The Dark Side Of New Technology Part 1

The Tower of Babel as a metaphor for hungry social media

“A bottomless pit of violence, a tower of Babel where all are speakers and no hearers.” -Alexander Smith

I’ve been away a while. For all this absence, I do have many things to show: a new baby, a new start-up jewellery company, a new teaching certification, and a clearer picture of several new technology trends I’ve been recently watching play out in the corporate and educational worlds.

Unfortunately, what I’m seeing now isn’t all good. All of the new technologies we have written about previously in this blog have brought with them new opportunities. However, very recently it has become clear there are some destructive side-effects to some of these new innovations and market shifts.

So many technology blogs spend their times evangelising the Next Big Thing, either because they’ve been paid to sell it, or because they’re itching to be the first one to discover something new. Not every blog, however, spends time talking about what these innovations could mean. These analyses are one thing that has always made CAD Jewellery Skills a bit different from the numerous other 3D printing and new technology blogs out there.

So what I’m going to do with these next few articles to examine the negative side-effects of many of these innovations, and what we as jewellery businesses can do about it to protect ourselves. I shall call this new series “The Dark Side of New Technology”.

This first article will be about the side effects of social media marketing’s continuous growth.

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Our Best Jewellery Books List Has Just Been Expanded

reading is fundamental to your intellectual life (image courtesy

Our Best Jewellery Books purchasing guide has been just greatly expanded with dozens of new recommendations for nearly every category. We’ve even had to add three more categories. Have a look.

Thank you to the brilliant teaching staff at the British Academy of Jewellery for dozens of recommendations on jewellery books for practical, theoretical, and inspirational use.

Boltenstern Launches a 3D Printed Gold and Platinum Jewellery Collection

As I’ve said before, it was only a matter of time before someone tried it with the tools as they are now. Now Austrian jeweller Boltenstern has collaborated with Cooksons to develop and release the first platinum and gold 3D printed jewellery collection, called Embrace.

The Bracelet design from the new 3D printed platinum “Embrace” collection.

More images from the collection after the break.

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How to Copy Protect Your STL Files

The Makers Muse Youtube channel has recently released a video with some excellent practical advice on how to place copy-protection measures on your .stl files. This is particularly important advice for those who sell their models on online 3D modelling communities. Have a look:


6 Luxury Jewellery Brands Which Use Materials and Manufacturing Inventively

Jewellery Focus recently wrote an interesting editorial on how designer jewellery brands are tapping into the zeitgeist by finding weird and wonderful ways to manufacture their jewellery. While it’s hard to say anything that hasn’t already been said about the classic strategy of differentiating a brand by using exotic materials or manufacturing process, Mr. Northcote is absolutely right in pointing out the growing number of designer jewellery brands who are happily stepping into what was once the preserve of the contemporary art jeweller– innovative choices of material and method. CAD/CAM of course is one of these methods, but these innovators borrow techniques from many crafts and industries such as wood working, ceramics, stone cutting, and industrial metal tooling.

Marble and Black Gold Ring by Ioanna Souflia

To add to the short list of makers included in the article (such as Bailey of Sheffield and Vanacci), here are a few of a growing list of premium and luxury brands which create jewellery using both innovative materials and innovative manufacturing processes:

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