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.
For this month’s Something Beautiful in Jewellery, I present Artur Dabrowski.
Artur was trained as an architect based in Brooklyn. Through his Shapeways shop and his own website, he has been making some elegant pieces of jewellery using CAD.
More after the break.
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.
It’s not easy to find an example of generative jewellery design which has successfully cracked the fashion market. But for this month’s edition of Something Beautiful in Jewellery, we found one. Today, I bring you the work of one John Robertson and his company VerticesEdge.
The Curvaceous collection from VerticesEdge
For this month’s Something Beautiful in Jewellery, I present the bold and elegant work of Primal Crafts.
Primal Crafts is the creation of Danish designer and one-man-show Kristoffer Rønn-Andersen from Copenhagen. With a taste for Nordic tribal tattoos and ancient weaponry, and a flair for Scandinavian modernist design, he has been producing some quite remarkable sculptural forms as 3D printed jewellery through Kristoffer’s store on i.materialise.
More after the break.
Not too long ago, the 3D Printing Industry Blog released their own list of best choices for commercial 3D printing services where you can release your 3D jewellery CAD models for others to purchase and 3D print.
Right now, it does seem like we are seeing a bit of an uncertain time for the jewellery industry. Every retailer is shifting their attention increasingly online, and while nearly all of the major jewellery manufacturers have embraced CAD, how they’re choosing use technology in their interactions with customers is still very much undecided. Within this uncertainty rests how CAD and 3D printing to order will sit within either fashion or fine jewellery.
At the moment, 3D printing marketplaces have become a kind of digital equivalent of the craft market, with free-wheeling designers using the established platforms as a way of getting attention and money for their talents. Like the old fashioned equivalent, these online marketplaces seem to be helpful for newcomers to get more of a feel for their target audiences.
Recently i.materialise‘s increasingly well-written blog publised a good article on ways to help 3D printing content creators to make their work more profitable through online distribution. While the article is primarily directed at i.materialise users, most of the tips are relevant to other 3D modelling marketplaces, such as Shapeways or Thingiverse. With this in mind, it’s definitely worth a read for those students and individuals who are trying to find new ways to monetise their CAD modelling work.
For anyone who has been following activity on these sites, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is definitely a strong market out their for bespoke produced items via 3D printing. I will be curious to see how this market evolves. Will it become a race to the bottom for worker’s wages, or will it lead to an entirely new ecosystem of tiers of skilled designers?