Jewelry has always been associated with class – from the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London to the jewelry-clad ‘flapper’ dresses of the 1920s. Diamonds are a a girl’s best friend, and precious metals are the perfect vessels to encase them.
But where does 3D printing come in?
Though plastic printing is widely affordable now through desktop FDM 3D printers, less is known about its metal applications. In actuality, 3D printing and jewelry go hand-in-hand, with specialized 3D software for jewelry and specialized 3D printers already on the market. Since this is such an emerging industry, we created our ranking of the 10 best 3D printed jewelry pieces from innovative companies all over the world.
- 1 Top 10 Best 3D Printed Jewelry pieces
- 1.1 1 – Nervous System 3D Printed Jewelry
- 1.2 2 – RADIAN
- 1.3 3 – Diana Law
- 1.4 4 – GUY & MAX
- 1.5 5 – Endswell Jewelry
- 1.6 6 – Pronto3D Jewelry
- 1.7 7 – Ross Lovegrove 3D printed jewelry
- 1.8 8 – American Pearl
- 1.9 9 – Spinning Globe Pendant by Aethyr
- 1.10 10 – 3Dwave 3D printed ring
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3D Printed Jewelry Manufacturing Process: Lost Wax Casting & DMLS
The most common process for creating jewelry using 3D printing is lost wax casting.
This process involves firstly 3D printing your desired jewelry model in wax (similar to resins used in stereolithography). These wax molds are then encased in plaster (known as the investment), and heated to a very high temperature to create an impression. After this, the impression is then filled with a liquid precious metal (such as gold or silver) to create the finished piece of 3D printed jewelry.
This method allows for a variety of precious metals to be used. The most commonly used metals include brass, stainless steel, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. However, plastics such as Nylon are occasionally used for pieces such as rings.
Top 10 Best 3D Printed Jewelry pieces
1 – Nervous System 3D Printed Jewelry
Nervous System is a 3D printed jewelry company founded in 2007 by Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, and a pioneer in the 3D printed jewelry space. Based in Somerville, Massachusetts, Nervous System combine stunning design with 3D printing technologies to create their pieces.
One of Nervous Systems’ main philosophies is about creating online design applications that allow customers to collaborate and co-create products. This aligns with Nervous Systems’ goal to make design more accessible to the masses. Nervous System don’t just make 3D printed jewelry such as rings and bracelets however, they also create lamps and other stunning 3D printed accessories. Check out Nervous System’s jewelry designs here.
2 – RADIAN
RADIAN are a 3D printed jewelry company based in Berlin who are influenced by architecture and graphic design. This led the founders to focus on creating marvelous 3D printed jewelry pieces focused on geometric and abstract shapes. RADIAN create these stunning pieces out of stainless steel, gold, silver, and Nylon.
Since being established, RADIAN have released three 3D printed jewelry collections, their Cubetwist, Solitaire I, and Solitaire II collections. These include 3D printed rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. The success the company has since received has resulted in RADIAN 3D printed jewelry being stocked all around Germany and Europe, and even as far as the Middle East, Russia, and the United States. Check out RADIAN’s site here.
3 – Diana Law
Diana Law is an experienced fashion and jewelry design with an extensive and varied career across Europe before she started her 3D printed jewelry company in 2014. With a rich history of design study in Paris, France, Diana incorporates her inspirations into her 3D printed jewelry, and now sells 3D printed earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, headpieces, and more.
3D printing jewelry allows Diana Law to create stunning jewelry from materials such as plastics and stainless steel. She creates her jewelry with selective laser sintering, printing fine Nylon layers. Another reason for moving into the 3D printed jewelry space was that it provides environmental benefits. You can check out Diana Law’s website here.
4 – GUY & MAX
GUY & MAX is a London-based 3D printed jewelry company who hone in on exactly what makes jewelry and precious metals so beautiful. You do not simply order your ring or necklace online as is, but go through a detailed process including consultations to create the absolute ideal piece of 3D printed jewelry for you.
In line with GUY & MAX’s philosophy, all their jewelry is handmade, and uses recycled metals where possible to avoid mining. In addition, customers are invited to bring back their 3D printed jewelry pieces for a free yearly cleaning service for their jewels every year after purchase. Check out their website here.
5 – Endswell Jewelry
Endswell is a 3D printed jewelry startup created by Rachel Gant and Andrew Deming in early 2013. Born out of a desire to create truly meaningful symbols within their dazzling jewelry, Endswell offer understated yet premium jewelry designs. After creating two solid gold rings for some of their friends, the company expanded to offer a variety of different 3D printed rings incorporating precious metals and diamonds.
Endswell use Lost Wax Casting technologies to create their 3D printed rings. Each ring is cast in precious metals which are 100% sustainably and ethically sourced. Endswell are aiming to use modern 3D printing technologies to link traditional designs with the present, shown in their stunning 3D printed jewelry designs. You can view Endswell’s jewelry collection here.
6 – Pronto3D Jewelry
Pronto3D are an Italian company owned by parent company Nemesi. Focused on creating beautiful pieces of 3D printed jewelry, Pronto3D sell a variety of rings, earrings, bracelets, and other accessories. Not only do Pronto3D design pieces of jewelry with precious metals, but large precious gems are incorporated into their designs, focusing on bringing 3D printing to the premium jewelry market. You can view Pronto3D’s jewelry designs here.
7 – Ross Lovegrove 3D printed jewelry
Ross Lovegrove is a veteran designer well known for creating a huge array of designs. Since being born in 1958 in Wales, Ross Lovegrove’s inspiration by the logic and beauty of nature led to his eventual design of 3D printed rings called Foliates.
Incorporating 3D printing to complement his designs, Ross Lovegrove released a set of 6 3D printed rings made from 18K gold. 10 of each ring design were created, using a mixture of Direct Metal Laser Sintering and Lost Wax Casting technologies. This demonstrates 3D printing’s usefulness, even in creating jewelry of very high quality.
8 – American Pearl
American Pearl are a very well-known jeweler who have been in business since 1950 in New York. The American company sells a huge variety of jewelry designs, many of which incorporate oyster pearls within them.
In 2014 American Pearl announced they were moving into the 3D printed jewelry sector, allowing customers to customize their own unique pieces using 3D printing. This could be done at home via the web, using 3D printing to create precise geometries in rings, earrings, necklaces, and more.
For more information, check out the video below:
9 – Spinning Globe Pendant by Aethyr
Not a 3D printed jewelry brand per se, but this 3D printed pendant designed by Aethyr is an absolutely stunning piece. Available to purchase on Shapeways in a variety of metals including brass, silver, and bronze, the globe spins freely within the frame.
The design was inspired by Cornelius Norbertus Gijsbrechts’ Celestial Globe painting, which was deemed so realistic that many spectators could not discern between the 2D painting and the real 3D object. Part of the ‘trompe l’oeil’ genre of art (meaning deception of the eye), 3D designer Aethyr used this to create this beautiful piece of 3D printed jewelry. You can check the design out on Shapeways here.
10 – 3Dwave 3D printed ring
Japanese startup 3Dwave recently launched a collection of rings which allows you to wear a soundbite on your finger! All you have to do is simply send an audio file up to 3 seconds, and 3Dwave will convert it into a 3D file and print it out as a ring.
There are a number of material options to choose from for your own 3D printed ring. These range from standard metals such as steel and brass, to precious metals like gold and platinum. If you ever want to remember a relatives’ voice, get it immortalized in one of 3Dwave’s 3D printed rings!