CNC Cookbook’s 10 Things Beginning CNC Mill Users Need

The nice people at the CNC Cookbook blog have put together a valuable article of good starting up tips for new users of CNC mills. Many of these tips and pieces of advice are things I wish I had been told when I acquired my first mill.

CNC MicroMill Cutters

CNC Cookbook Article – 10 Things Beginning CNC Milling Users Need to Succeed

Kathryn Hinton – Innovations in CAD/CAM Silversmithing

Previously I’ve heard some colleagues ask if anyone is actually using Jewellery CAD/CAM in silversmithing. While I will admit there aren’t as many working in silversmithing as they’re are in jewellery, there are a growing number. One particularly strong exponent of new technology in silversmithing is Kathryn Hinton.

Kathryn Hinton - CAD Silversmith

Since Kathryn Hinton’s MA degree at the Royal College of Art, she has been doing some fascinating and very innovative work with applying experimental uses of CAD/CAM, CNC Milling, and 3D Printing in the creation of hollow forms for silversmithing. I met her myself at a technology event earlier this year at the Goldsmiths Centre, and she’s a mighty clever lady.

If you’d like to hear what she’s doing in her own words, Craft Scotland just published a video interview with her at her residency at the Edinburgh College of Art.

Craft Scotland Interview – Kathryn Hinton and CAD/CAM Silversmithing.

Frequently Asked Questions 9 – Which 3D Printers and Rapid Prototyping Machines Are the Best For Making Jewellery?

(Last updated 25 May 16)

(This article is one of my series of Frequently Asked Questions posts. See the rest of the FAQ pages.)

This list came from an increasing number of people who came to me wanting to know which 3D printers and machines were the best ones to consider for the purposes of setting up their own businesses or getting their pieces made via outsourcing. After some searching on the internet, I noticed nobody had really tried to make a list of all the options for rapid prototyping for jewellery.

Since the 3D printing capabilities we need for jewellery are generally much higher resolution than most other forms of product design, I reckoned I should make a list of available state-of-the-art rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing systems just for jewellers, and clarify how rapid prototyping fits in with jewellery casting and manufacturing.

But before I talk about the various rapid prototyping machines used for jewellery, I reckon I should answer a couple of key questions first:


  1. The difference between Rapid Prototyping, Rapid Manufacturing, and 3D printing
  2. How Much do rapid prototyping machines cost?
  3. Industrial 3D Printers Suitable for Jewellery
  4. Metal Laser Sintering 3D (MLS) Printers Suitable for Jewellery
  5. CNC Milling Machines Suitable for Jewellery
  6. Small Home 3D Printers Suitable for Jewellery
  7. What about Hobbyist 3D printers or plastic 3D printers? (3Dhubs 3D Printing Trends List)

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What Would Hybrid (Combined Additive and Subtractive) Prototyping Look Like?

I recently discovered a new video today which shows a relatively recent Hybrid Prototyping metal sintering machine in action. It’s fascinating to watch:


The machine you’re seeing here is the Lasertec 65 hybrid prototyping machine produced by DG Mori.

Hybrid Prototyping Machines are a combination of additive (3D printing) and subtractive (CNC milling) prototyping processes, meaning they’ll build surfaces up and then carve them back down to create the best possible finish. Continue reading

Introducing the OtherMill 3-Axis CNC Mill – a Portable 3-Axis CNC Engraver and Mill

The concept of technology size and cost shrinking year upon year is not a new one, but it is particularly interesting to note how much activity is happening right now with 3D printers. It seems many different companies are now competing to be the first to make a viable small office 3D printer, priced as if it were a home appliance.

From this fray, I introduce the OtherMill 3-Axis CNC mill.
OtherMill CNC Mill Prototype
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Dispatches from the 3D PrintShow 2012 in London

Printrbot’s stand at the 3D Printshow. Showing off just how inexpensive and portable RP machines can be.

This weekend I went to a wonderful open trade show highlighting the best of US and UK time compression technologies (that would be 3D scanning, Rapid Prototyping, and Bespoke CAD/CAM product design in English) called the 3D Printshow, held this year at the Brewery in London. Interestingly, I found out about this evert not through a trade magazine, but through the Evening Standard’s real estate section (of all places), under “bespoke furniture”.

That in and of itself points to something very interesting about this show which set it apart from every other trade show I’d ever seen about rapid prototyping—this was very much a family event. They not only allowed for families and children to come along, they explicitly encouraged it through both their website and many of the booths that were there. Continue reading