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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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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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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The Engagement Ring Challenge – Couples Design an Engagement Ring Separately Online, and Compare

As part of James Allen‘s recently launched but absolutely brilliant marketing push for millennial grooms, they teamed up with Buzzfeed to create the Engagement Ring Challenge, where both partners separately design an engagement ring using James Allen’s online bespoke design tools, and then compare.

The end results and reactions are cute, and only half predictable:

 

While online ring design tools are now quite commonplace in the market, this is surely one of those ideas that is probably making a lot of jewellery companies say “Now why didn’t I think of that?

As a bonus, after the break I’ve also shared James Allen’s hilarious jewellery advert that’s making the rounds now on Youtube:
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Economist Article – 3D Printers Start to Build Factories of the Future

A shoe sole 3D printed with Digital Light Synthesis (courtesy Reebok)

A few weeks ago the Economist ran a briefing on 3D printing and it’s effects on mass production, alongside an equally good leader article. While it is general in its nature, there are elements in the article about jewellery manufacturing.

Overall, the article both provides a current snapshot of the readily available state of the art in rapid manufacturing, as well as introducing to the general public how current trends in 3D printing are affecting the way commercial and industrial goods are manufactured. They’ve even mentioned in passing a commonly reiterated point about 3D printing’s particular strength in the area of small scale mass production versus using traditional mass production on short product runs.

I’m listing it here as a useful reference for those jewellery CAD/CAM users who may want somewhere to start when communicating to others what the fuss is about with 3D printing.

Economist Article – 3D Printers Start to Build Factories of the Future

3 Types of Websites Which Help CAD Jewellers Meet and Interact With New Clients Online

For years we’ve been gradually seeing the growth of more and more websites which attempt to provide a connection between CAD modellers and customers in need of their services. Whether it is being driven by the propagation of 3D printers, a greater number of creatives trying to start their own businesses, or simply a growing interest in personalised consumer goods, it is clear there is a steadily growing demand for creative CAD services. The question is where do these new digital middlemen fit in between the 3D modeller and the customer.

In a previous article we talked about the different ways in which CAD is being used by jewellers to interact with their customers. For this article, I’m going to look at the market from the other direction, and explore ways in which jewellery CAD designers can offer their skills to the wider market.

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Bre and Co’s 3D Printed Boutique, and 4 Ways to Use CAD and 3D Printing In Your Retail Jewellery Website Marketing

Back in January, Bre Pettis (founder and former CEO of MakerBot) launched his own boutique 3D printed product brand called Bre & Co.

Their site and presentation is a fascinating study in ways to make 3D printed products appeal as a premium product to the current 25-35 year old middle income consumer market. It also shows what a website would look like when an artisan boutique is created to sell mostly or fully 3D printed retail products.

This marks an interesting evolution in the development of the CAD/CAM and 3D printing in the jewellery market. While we have talked about how CAD/CAM is portrayed to customers in the jewellery market before, it seems we are now seeing several distinctly different business strategies evolve which use 3D printing as a key component not only for manufacturing, but also for retail presentation. Each of these strategies shows how CAD/CAM is used and presented in a different target market.

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