How 3D Printing is Changing how Jewellery is Made

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Jewellery making is an ancient art with the very first jewellery ever made dating back to around 130,000 years old and arts like goldsmithing dating back at least 7,000 years with many traditional methods of making jewellery still around today.  It’s interesting, therefore, when brand new technology comes on the scene that totally changes the way some people make jewellery.  We’ve seen fascinating advances like synthetic diamonds in recent years that stopped jewellers being reliant on diamonds mined from the earth but the latest development really is a game changer.  The introduction of 3D printing in to jewellery making has given jewellery designers a totally new way of creating jewellery which has a wide variety of benefits.

The Devil’s in the Details

With traditional jewellery making methods, the level of detail the jeweller could get into metal work depended entirely on their skill level as it involves carving a wax model into the shape you want the jewellery to be.  A mould is then created around this model and the wax is melted away to leave a mould ready for the precious metal.  With 3D printing, designers can create a jewellery design using CAD (computer aided design) and the 3D printer can either create a model for a mould or print directly using precious metal.  This means that not only does the designer get to create designs more detailed and delicate than they could create if they had to carve the model manually, they can easily try out designs in plastic and refine them before they get precious metals involved.

Waste Not

Being able to try out designs in materials that aren’t precious metals means that those metals aren’t wasted while designers try to perfect their designs.  It saves on materials if people are printing directly in precious metals because there are no need for moulds and no metal material is wasted in the process.  It also means pieces of jewellery can be very easily made to order even if they aren’t custom designed so there is no need to make pieces of jewellery that no one wants to buy.  Some jewellery designers like to use very pure gold which is obviously very expensive, so we can see why these methods might appeal to their practical sides as well as to their creativity.

Just For You

However, if you do want a custom design, 3D printing makes them easier to create than ever before because the design can simply be programmed into the machine and it can create as many or as few of that design as you require.  Obviously, as makers of custom made jewellery ourselves who have no need for such flashy modern methods (except for the CAD, we use that), we appreciate the traditional ways of creating bespoke jewellery but we do see the potential this technology has for creating really interesting and unusual pieces going forward.

As a traditional jewellers, we don’t see much 3D printed jewellery and the items we sell are made through tried and tested traditional means but that doesn’t mean we would be averse to selling such jewellery in the future.  If you would like to know anything about the jewellery we sell, jewellery we can source for you or custom made jewellery, please give us a call on 01273 239763 or email

How 3D Printing is Changing how Jewellery is Made was last modified: May 12th, 2020 by Admin