Role of 3D Printers in The Jewellery Manufacturing Industry

If you’re a first-time jewelry designer trying to navigate the jewelry world, it’s important to understand the manufacturing process


3D printers in the Jewellery industry 1
Advantages of 3D printing in the jewellery industry: 1
Step 1: Making an aesthetically functional 3D design: 2
Step 2: 3D Wax printing of your 3D models: 2
∙ Lost wax moulding 2
∙ Silicon Moulding 2
Step 3: Jewellery casting & assembly: 2
Step 4: Jewellery Polishing & Finishing 3

3D Printers in The Jewellery Industry

Any manufacturing process or printing through 3D printers to give a solid physical object is 3D printing. The process embodies a 3D design made from CAD software which is then polished for greater details and final design. It is then fed to the 3D printers’ cam machine incompatible format which can begin production in 3D printers. The metals can be chosen of your choice, and the models are carved out from 3D printer lasers in a layer by layer form which is stacked above each sheath to frame the desired model.

In the jewellery manufacturing industry, the designs play an elemental role in shaping the outcome of the final jewel. 3D designs are made through CAD models which can be edited and scaled in size according to the consumers’ wish. It all saves time and is also responsible for satisfying the users’ taste.

Advantages of 3D Printing in The Jewellery Industry

  • Saves Time: Conventional designing and casting was a manual job and took time. With digital tools, the designing part and production phase was upgraded to machines which reduced the overall production time drastically.
  • Add intricate elements: Auto CAD models made it possible for the manufacturer to add and edit intricate and minute designs through advanced CAD features. Moreover, the dimensions can be made accurate and balanced to give a detailed and finer model.
  • Single solid frame:  The jewellery can be made from a single solid metal which increases the durability of the jewellery piece.

Jewellery industry profits a lot from the 3D printing services as it enables them to customise and design a complex and balanced model with near-perfect accuracy. They can manufacture numbers of exact jewellery piece in a very short period. 

It is estimated that the 3D printing technology in jewellery industry will cater to masses and increase with a CAGR of 20 % by 2027.

Step 1: Making an Aesthetically Functional 3D Design

3D designs are made possible through auto CAD software which replicates the physical interpretation of the model you are thinking to build. One of the greatest advantages it gives over the conventional wax models is that it saves time in the process of improvising the designs. Moreover, you could simply add, edit and delete the elements of the design.

When it comes to 3D design software which is also called as auto CAD software, the professional industry uses some advanced tools for organic modelling and rendering. Some of this software include RhinoGold, JewelCad, Matrix and Zbrush. Some rather easy to use software includes Jewel and WizeGem for amateurs and entry-level 3D design professionals.

The initial software design is made from the functionality point of view, and it doesn’t represent the final elemental design of your jewellery.

Step 2: 3D Wax Printing of Your 3D Models

3D wax printing is a way to check out your jewellery design in the physical state. The 3D design, which was made from the CAD software is now ready to be used in the 3D printing machine for manufacturing.

  • Lost wax moulding: The 3D printers use resins to make out a wax model of the fed 3D design. The 3D printed jewellery can be customised and can be manufactured in less than 48 hours. With advanced 3D printers, you can get precise 3D wax models, complex build, clean burnout and directly castable models.
  • Silicon Moulding: Molds can be made via silicone through 3D printing technology for producing exact copies at large scale. The designs are kept identical and help maintain the uniformity of the object.

Step 3: Jewellery Casting & Assembly

The 3D wax model is cast using the metal of your choice, which are generally gold, silver or platinum. The molten metal is poured in the space made by the wax model. The metal is then cooled and dried into the shape of your jewellery. In the casting process, a tree of resin is poured in a brass tumbler which is put in plaster of Paris solution. The model is then put in Bhatti where the metal is added in molten form.

Now comes the final fabrication phase, where the metal cast jewellery is refined to give defined elements. The outer layer is filed to reveal the underneath metal.

The filing process is used to add any more aesthetical designs and also spots where it can hold the impending gemstones. 

After the gemstone mount is ready, the gemstone is set in the desired place with the help of a microscope.

Step 4: Jewellery Polishing & Finishing

The jewellery is then refined by polishing to get shiny metal and cut out the edgy shapes. Final engravings are also done through polishing. Then a quality assurance check is made to check out that all the standard production process was successful.