Monday, November 12, 2012

3D Printing And Jewelry

3D printing is starting to impact quite a few industries in various styles, niches, and genres. Very broad uses of manufacturing may include stuff like engineering, product development, marketing, or medical. I want to discuss some of the possibilities in another one of these broad niches. What I want to talk about today involves the use of 3D printed jewelry.

Jewelry has been around for centuries. Back in the day, people would carve various pendants, bracelets, and rings. Medieval forms of casting came about, which spawned a whole new world of manufacturing. In the 21st century, we've been seeing quite a few forms of casting. The most popular method involves molten material coming into a "tube" like device, with the shapes of various rings and pendants within this tube. The molten material, whether it be silver, gold, platinum, or whatever - would then take place of the actual part of jewelry. This has been used to create various pendants, rings, charms, necklaces, and earrings. A similar method has been used within 3D printing. In fact, the method is incredibly similar, but 3D printing has been adding some serious value.

As I mentioned earlier, there is a tube like holding piece which the molten material has to run through. This material would be guided to take the shape of whatever molds were present. The molds, is where 3D printing comes into play. There are tons of ways to make these molds, but not all are as efficient as 3D printing. Traditional methods can create a piece of material which will then serve as the casting part, but this casting part can be made a certain amount better due to this manufacturing process. Because of the way 3D printing works, some seriously intricate pieces of jewelry could be fabricated.

Carving, machining, and various other methods that a traditional jeweler uses are simply not as efficient at creating intricate parts in some situations. 3D printing allows for the layer by layer creation of virtually whatever you want! The layer by layer process found in this style of manufacturing involves laying down incredibly high resolution layers of material down. Sometimes the resolution found within these printers is as low as 13 microns. The width of a human hair is usually around 40 microns. So imagine that. A piece of jewelry offering the detail levels smaller than the width of your hair. That is a pretty high resolution if you think about it!

Aside from just the resolution levels found in 3D printing, there are other features. Due to the nature of the layer by layer process, some seriously intricate pieces can be formed. Parts of a print can be neglected per layer, while others aren't - and this can yield to some wicked stuff! This means that you'll be able to produce parts such as a ball within a ball. Curves are also much easier through 3D printing. Other details such as intricacy, hollow spaces, and curves are also pretty involved within the manufacturing process known as 3D printing. This technology is cool when it comes to jewelry!

If you enjoyed this article, you might want to learn about 3D Printing, or possibly you'd like to join a 3D Printing Community.

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