3D Printing – A New Dimension in Custom Jewelry Design

For millennia, people of all civilizations have been adorning themselves with jewelry of all kinds, and all with the same goal: to make a visual statement in one way or another.

While the Flintstones-era rocks and bones style is no longer popular, the use of precious metals and stones in jewelry is something that has been constant since their discovery, and shows no sign of ever going away.

What does change and evolve however is the production process. Technological advances are constantly helping the designers to help you customize your own engagement ring. While CAD imaging systems have been around for a while, the newest kid on the block is 3D printing.

When used in conjunction to design and create models of the custom piece for the customer to approve, CAD imaging and 3D printing can save the jeweler time and money while allowing the customer more freedom to customize their own engagement ring, while also giving them a far better idea of the how the finished piece will look.

Less time, more style

Thanks to CAD design, what used to take hours to sketch by hand can be rendered much quicker on a computer screen. With demanding or indecisive customers who are likely to ask for changes or request a completely new design when customizing their own engagement rings, the time and effort this saves the jeweler is immeasurable.

3D printing is also helping in the design and decision-making processes, replacing the need to hand-carve a wax model of the piece. Aside from the time-saving benefits of this, 3D printing allows far more detail to be incorporated in the model, giving the customer a greater idea of how their custom jewelry will look.

The time saved by adopting new 3D printing techniques also gives the jeweler more time to spend on making the designs as good as they can possibly be, and at a more competitive price too.

New technology, vintage designs

As 3D printing technology allows a jeweler more time to help you customize your own engagement ring, their creativity is allowed to flourish, knowing as they do that the 3D printer will allow ever more intricate designs to become reality.

Of course, we all have different taste, and you might not want the clinical precision cut of a new piece when you customize your own engagement ring; after all, retro never really goes out of fashion.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, the advancements in technology are helping with this too, with the higher level of detail allowed by the new techniques enabling the skilled custom jeweler to add elements to their designs that actually work to give them a more vintage look.

Wider audience, future developments

The combination of CAD imaging and 3D printing technology is helping custom jewelers to take their business global without leaving their offices and workshops, communicating with customers worldwide who want to customize their own engagement rings before sending the finished piece to the happy recipient.

Scans of pencil sketches and 3D CAD rendering files can be emailed, with revisions made until the customer is satisfied, before a model is 3D printed. Scanned images of this can also be emailed and, once approved, the final piece is sent via safe courier.

While this is the pinnacle of 3D printing technology in use in the custom jewelry industry today, the future promise of 3D metal printing will mean another giant leap forward in the manufacturing process.

3D printing technology already saves time, effort, money, and man-hours for custom jewelers everywhere, which in turn means a more cost-effective and quicker service for the customer; the next evolution of the technology will only lead to a more beneficial design and manufacture process for jewelers and their customers looking to customize their own engagement rings.