What can turn the traditional, regular and centuries-old experience of wearing jewellery into a futuristic, versatile, highly personal and hi-tech experience, while never compromising on the aesthetics? 3D printed jewellery
Step into the revolutionary world of 3D printed jewellery, where all your jewellery dreams quite literally come to life. The trend of wearing 3D printed jewellery has been around since before 2013 but has slowly turned into a fashion and art-fueled mania among certain ‘hip’ circles and is gaining popularity among women and men across all demographics.
To explain it simply, 3D printing is a process in which materials are joined, fused or solidified together under the control of a computer to create a 3-dimensional object. 3D printed jewellery is all the rage currently. It truly redefines and modernises the way we create, perceive, buy and wear jewellery. It is a cutting-edge trend that is here to stay and grow.
Let’s delve deep into the phenomenon of 3D printed jewellery.
What does 3D printed jewellery look like?
It looks like regular jewellery! In so far as one can easily identify it as jewellery. The difference is that technology is used to create and personalise jewellery designs as opposed to end-to-end manual creation, but the final outcome is pretty much amazing jewellery that anyone would love to buy and own.
You can buy customised as well as ready-to-wear 3D printed necklaces, earrings, bracelets, wedding rings, anklets, brooches, chokers, finger rings, toe rings, nose rings, tiaras, waistbands, and more. We’ve displayed a few pictures to show different types of jewellery made by using 3D printing in this article.
3D Printed Necklace: Lace by Jenny Woo (Styra Necklace)
Why do you need 3D printed jewellery?
In one word, CUSTOMIZATION.
From funky to fierce, minimalistic to grandiose, simple to intricate, geometric to thematic, 3D printed jewellery can be anything you want it to be.
It can be the true embodiment of your personality, your individuality and your fashion style. Need your spirit animal on a bracelet, the solar system on a pair of earrings, or your spiritual mantra on a necklace? It’s all possible when it comes to 3D printed jewellery, and it does not cost the world.
3D Printed Choker by Alissia Melka-Teichroew
Not only can you opt for professionally designed ready-made 3D printed jewellery, you can also create and personalise your very own ideas and concepts in form of jewellery. And that is perhaps the most distinct thing about 3D jewellery. It gives you the vast playground to pick and choose your own materials and manifest your own creations.
It’s personal, it’s limitless, and it enables the perfect DIY dreamscape for jewellery designers and enthusiasts alike.
More reasons why 3D printed jewellery is special
Yes, it is. 3D printed jewellery is the in-thing that has taken the fashion industry by storm. More and more jewellery designers are using this technology to design lighter, edgier, artistic and more creative designs that they found cumbersome using the traditional enamelling technique.
3D printed engagement rings by Formlabs
Photo courtesy: Formlabs
In other words, this is the kind of jewellery that turns heads. It is as bold as it is becoming. This is the go-to jewellery design process for new-age, tech-savvy, youthful designers who are constantly breaking away from the traditional ways of approaching fashion.
Whether you are a glam diva or a hipster chic, 3D printed jewellery is a must-have fashion statement. Jewellery designers are creating unique designs like a straw hat shaped ring, a hashtag bracelet, Dubai skyline on a ring, an Edgar Allan Poe bracelet with a quote on it, Garfield cufflinks, and surrealistic geometric patterns that combine art, graphics and abstract themes.
3D Printed Earrings: Happy Birds Bird Cage Earrings
It is for everyone. Gold, diamond, platinum jewellery in pure carats may be perceived as old-school and can be expensive. The youth today prefers something more fashionable and economical; jewellery that can be their true self-expression while burning no holes in their pockets.
Having said that, traditional techniques using gold, diamond, and expensive gems are also amalgamated with 3D printing technology. High-end jewellery companies are creating their pure carat jewellery lines using 3D printing to sell products to an elite clientele.
Even for designers, 3D printing is the best option there is to make jewellery on ‘as and when’ needed basis and on smaller scales rather than worrying about unsold inventory. Even complex designs that require long manual hours can be materialised at one go using a 3D printer.
Imagine owning a piece of jewellery or accessory that absolutely no one else in the world owns, except you. What delight and pride it would bring you! With personalised creations via 3D printing techniques, everyone can own (and flaunt) something that belongs exclusively to them.
3D Printed Silver Jewellery (Neiman Marcus)
When it comes to 3D printing applications, jewellery is just where the fun is beginning. You can accessorise with customized as well as ready-made 3D printed keychains, sunglasses, hats, brooches, hairpins, belts, shoes, handbags and even jackets, gloves and dresses.
3D printed bracelet on Instructables
Who is wearing 3D print jewellery?
Or who isn’t wearing 3D printed jewellery? Apparently, everyone is.
From celebs, models, to the girl-next-door, anyone who is a fashionista or aspiring to be, is wearing 3D printed jewellery these days. Tracing its origins, Jenny Wu is the iconic founder who started this trend among Hollywood fashionistas (Carrie Underwood notably), and since then the trend has snowballed worldwide.
3D Printed Deer Head Earrings by SPOTTED
While the rich and the famous in the west were the early adopters of 3D printed jewellery, Bollywood is obviously not far behind in following suite. According to Pipabella.com, their famous clientele includes actresses like Parineeti Chopra, Kareena Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Kalki Koechlin, Alia Bhatt, Shraddha Kapoor and more.
3D Printed Ring – Snake Ring by Shapeways
In fact, in the movie Black Panther, a costume was also printed using 3D printing. Couples, rich and not so rich, are buying custom-made 3D printed jewellery to declare their love to each other, millennials are adopting 3D printed jewellery as part of their daily fashion and also wearing customized designs for college and music festivals, tech-savvy customers are buying the hottest 3D printed jewellery online, and art buffs are rushing to collect conceptual 3D jewellery made by exotic designers from all over the world.
How is 3D Printed Jewellery Made?
Let’s take a look at how 3D printed jewellery is made by professionals and jewellery makers and then learn how you can make your own designs or get your own designs 3D printed.
3D Printed Fusion Jewellery Pendants by Melissa Borrell Design
The Common Process Of Making 3D Printed Jewellery
- Jewellery makers feed their designs into a 3D modelling software.
- A 3D file is created which has the information on what the printer needs to print.
- The design is 3D printed in wax.
- It is then covered in fine plaster after which it forms a solidified mould.
- It is then put in an oven and heated.
- This results in the wax burning out and then it is metal casted.
It should be noted that the product is not ready-to-ship once it is out of the printer. It requires post-processing and finishing.
3D Printed Crystals, Diamonds and Gems
Materials used to make 3D printed jewellery
There’s a general misconception that 3D printed jewellery is made out of plastic. Although plastic may be used, there are other materials that are used in the process, depending on your choice or that which suits the design. Common materials used are metal, sterling silver, gold, brass, bronze, polyamide (a nylon plastic), copper and ceramics.
How you can get your design 3D printed
There are many websites that can make your design using 3D printing. You don’t need to own a 3D printing machine.
You just have to send them your 3D model using a software, they will do the rest.
They will even let you know how to fix your design flaws.
Alternatively, if you don’t have the designing skills, you can get help from professional designers on such sites and even follow their DIY tutorials.
You can choose what materials you want in order to create your design.
Here are the best sites that will help turn your designs into reality:
Where can you buy 3D printed jewellery?
Several online marketplaces sell them. Brick and mortar stores sell 3D printed jewellery too. Check them out locally on Google.
3D Printed Pendant by A. James 3D Printing
Here’s our list of best places to buy 3D printed jewellery online.
So if you’ve had enough of traditional or mass-manufactured jewellery in your wardrobe, we suggest you make a brave new move by creating your own collection of 3D printed jewellery and accessories. You won’t get enough of it. We promise.