Ok so my German Shepherd puppy will be born in about 8-12 weeks and I decided to make a badge for him based on a logo I made for him a few weeks ago for a T shirt. Anyways, I basically turned that logo into a 3D model and added a bit of a banner to the bottom and thought about 3D printing it. I was nervous at first because I didn’t think printing my model would be THAT simple but with just a few clicks, I put an order in on the Shapeways website for a stainless steel print. Took around 15 days to be finished (I guess due to it being metal) but my god, the quality of the print was amazing. The amount of detail and sharpness of the lines were insane. In fact, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve gotten it and I’m still holding and staring at my model simply because it’s THAT cool. Anyways, my badge pretty much looks like a medallion piece and I’ve been thinking about my girlfriend which led me to think about jewelry LOL. I know some of you guys have printed things like pendants and small earrings but have any of you ever tried printing like an actual gold piece that is large? Like an elaborate neck piece? Pretty much anything bigger than a pendent? Currently I’m debating on whether or not sending my yet-to-be-drawn model off to an actual jeweler will be more cost effective than choosing Shapeways for this type of print because I eventually want to have an elaborate neck piece printed for my girlfriend in either 14k or 18k gold. And maybe even platinum depending on how things go. I haven’t started modeling my piece but apparently chain linked items are a no-go for gold prints at the moment so this will probably force my design to be rigid. Feel free to post any pieces you made in the comments, I’m really starting to like this 3D printed jewelry movement
Wouldn’t you agree that your post would have greater impact if you had provided an image to support what you are talking about? Y’know…a picture being worth a thousand words and all that.
I make jewelry by hand and some by 3d printing in Wax (from shapeways) and then casting in gold or silver.
I do this as a hobby at the moment. Of course you can have it 3d printed by I don’t trust Shapeways to properly finish an 18K piece of gold jewelry. Often, the wax models they 3d print need some cleaning up before I cast them.
They probably just tumble finish the gold jewelry and may loose sharp corners if you wanted them. It’s not worth the risk to me.
But, if you pay a jewelry to design it and make it, you are looking at at least 5 times the cost of the gold.
If I were you… I would do this. Make the model you want perfect to your liking… and then pay Shapeways to print it in castable wax. Then, take your model and send it to a jewelry to cast it in gold and he or she will properly finish it. Their 3d printing in wax has very high resolution. Interestingly, although the resolution of very small text engravings are excellent, when they print the flat faces in wax, there are ridges/bumps. You have to smooth all of that with a wax solvent or fine panty hose stockings.
You don’t want to cast a piece of 18K gold unless the models is nearly perfect due to gold loss with heavy finishing.
18K is going to be pretty expensive!