ZPC blog

3D Printed Jewelry

Keeping current with fashion often means keeping current with technological trends. Lately, 3D printing has seen a dramatic rise in popularity. And because of this, it has increased in prominence in the jewelry industry. While many jewelers stick to traditional manufacturing for their pieces, those on the cutting edge are embracing this technological advancement. This means jewelers can design and manufacturer necklaces, bracelets, rings, and more, all within their workshop spaces.

Traditional Jewelry Making vs 3D Printing

Before you can truly understand the level of innovation 3D printing has brought to the jewelry industry, let’s talk for a moment about what traditional jewelry making consists of. For starters, you would have to go through multiple steps to see a product through to completion. This means, it could take weeks for a product to be finished and reach the consumer market.

Now, efficiency can be the prime focus. 3D printing tech makes it so jewelers can design a product and print it at a much faster rate, using fewer materials. Plus, the end result is a higher quality piece that will be sturdier and less likely to break over time.

Most importantly, these advancements reduce the potential for mistakes and for a disconnect between the designer and customers. Since the designs will appear in real life exactly as they do on the computer, customers can get a real sense of what their product will look like before it’s ever manufactured.

Custom Manufacturing

Creating fashionable jewelry that fits exactly what a customer wants can be difficult to produce. There are a lot of man hours that go into the production of a single piece. And if the end product isn’t just right it stands to reason that the customer will be displeased and may wish to back out of the deal. Designing jewelry on the computer that will be printed out ensures the final result will look exactly as it did in the mockup. The customer can request changes in the design phase and see the final product meet their specifications to the letter.

Artistic Preservation

Now, some of the earliest 3D printed jewelry was bulky, to say the least. But now, as the design software and printing tools have become more sophisticated, jewelers can actually produce items that are more in line with their artistic visions than ever before. No longer are their ideas limited by manufacturing processes.

Extremely complex designs are now possible. Some of the jewelry being produced using 3D printing is very delicate and features spirals, cutouts, and tiny details that can’t be made through traditional manufacturing. And though this may be subjective, the pieces being produced are attractive and look every bit as high fashion as those made through traditional means.

Startups Have a Chance

The costs of mass production are enormous. And if you only want to make a small print run of a line of bracelets, let’s say, you’ll need to pay a ridiculous amount that’s likely not worth it. This means small jewelry designers and startups don’t have a fair shot at “making it.” However, thanks to 3D printing, young companies with smaller budgets can create intricate designs and really embrace the art of jewelry making without having to shell out a ton of cash. Plus, they can still stand a chance to compete because their designs can look every bit as good as the big league companies.

Smaller boutiques have a special interest in 3D printed jewelry because there is a novelty factor right now. However, even as this technology expands and becomes more commonplace, it is highly likely that high fashion will continue to embrace printed jewelry because it is so unique and offers shapes, styles, and aesthetics not typically seen in wearable pieces.