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?
As TCT Magazine recently reported, recent Birmingham School of Jewellery graduate Rebecca Wilkes has been experimenting with full colour nylon SLS printing for producing 3D printed jewellery. With the help of the nylon 3D printers at Digits2Widgets, she has been garnering attention at trade shows for her collection of wearable objects with interchangeable components.
I have to say, it’s nice to see a new generation of students taking chances in seeing how far they can push 3D printed materials as an end product. While the materials aren’t perfect, this work proves that if you can find the right product, 3D printing itself is a viable manufacturing medium for products.
For the latest edition of Something Beautiful in Jewellery, I would like to present something different– a 3D CAD keychain designer.
Working out of Aberdeen, Scotland, Gavin Bain of Celtic3D draws upon rich historical research into medieval Scottish symbols for the creation of impressive relief designs for his keychains. His work is produced on demand and sold through Shapeways‘ own 3D model community in his Celtic3D online shop.
At the present time, every 3D printer on the market has issues and limitations with the surface quality they can create with 3D printed materials. To get around that can often involve polishing and removing a significant amount of detail. Waht make’s Gavin’s work remarkable is that he has found a way to make use of these limitations of 3D printing surface quality as a feature in and of itself on the design. It adds a look of aged or primitive authenticity to an object created with new technology. Very resourceful!
(More images after the break)
In one of my previous articles on prosthetic limbs and their potential for creative expression, I mentioned the James Dyson Award-winning affordable prosthetic hand design of Open Bionics.
Since then, Open Bionics has done something amazing — they have established a collaboration with Konami (makers of Metal Gear Solid) to develop creative prosthetic limb design. They call it the Phantom Limb Project.
This partnership echoes Ove Arup’s famous vision of designers and engineers working closely together in all endeavours, and is a perfect example of what I am confident we will see as commonplace in the future of prosthetic limb design.
Jewellery Focus recently announced that Cooksongold E-manufacturing‘s Metal Laser Sintering service is now expanding to offer platinum as a 3D printing option.
You can read the full article here.
I’m curious to know how they managed to find a way to control the cost aspect of this, but I am very pleased to see this is now a reality.
3D Printing Industry recently wrote an interesting story about Taiwan-based 3D printing bureau Elements Lab and the Jewellery Maker app they’re currently working to build.
As with similar efforts in the past to build a simpler mass customisation tool, the idea is to make jewellery modelling for 3D printing simple enough for anyone to try their hand. They even made a trailer to show off the app’s intended capabilities:
You can read more about it here: