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3D printing is radically disrupting the jewelry industry


#1

According to this article:

Do you guys agree?

Elaine
CreativeTextureTools. com/news


#2

Hi Elaine,

For your typical ‘mall jewelry’ wedding ring, definitely. For
anything that’s traditionally mostly cast, yeah.

The wax carvers and mold guys are looking at a rough future. Casting
houses, probably not so much, since somebody’s got to cast the
pieces. In the long run, the laser sintered (powdered metal) rigs
have the potential to put the pinch on the casting houses too, but
that’ll take longer.

Not least of which is that the feedstock for the sintering rigs
would be spectacularly expensive for the current systems. But that’s
subject to change without notice.

For normal, everyday sorts of jewelry, RP will let it be more
’custom’, which will be a good thing from the customer’s point of
view. There will be less slapping heads on diestruck shanks, because
it’ll all be cast in one piece. even those pieces which really should
have been diestruck, and probably out of white gold rather than cast
14KY. So visually it may get better. Technically? There are reasons
why not everything is cast, and RP won’t magically change that. Early
RP work will probably suffer a reputation for iffy quality in the
first decade or so, as ‘designers’ discover that not everything they
can draw will actually stand up to wear.

For us? I think we’ll have to head uphill, into things that the RP
systems can’t do, because not everything will work as a casting. So
we’ll have to focus more on the potential of metal as metal,
(rather than as data), and work on things that take advantage of the
mechanical properties of metal. (It’s sort of like how painters
got into abstract expressionism after the camera really got rolling.
They went where the camera couldn’t follow. We’ll have to do
something similar.)

My $.02.

Regards,
Brian


#3

disrupting is the wrong word.


#4

I look forward to a 3-D stone mason which will carve/print any
stone, macro or micro as I direct it to.

What are the bets when it will arrive?


#5

Honestly, it did not sound to me like the writer really understands
the custom jewelry industry at all. note the incorrect and rather
odd use of some of the terms. I would love to learn and use 3D but I
don’t see it as being “disruptive” - I find that a very peculiar
choice of words on the writer’s part.

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
bethwicker.com


#6

I find it amusing that the photo used at the top of the article was
of necklace made with poorly made Balinese style spacer beads.

Of course it will change jewelry manufacturing. I recommend that all
of our students learn to use CAD. They are now 3-D printing edible
food. We are so close to having the replicators they had on Star
Trek. Pretty exciting stuff.

"Is 3-D printing the key to jump-starting american manufacturing?"
For now it is. However the Chinese and Indians will have all of those
jobs out sourced to them in short order. That said, repair and fine
fabrication will always be a hand skill. You can’t out source
restoring Great Grandma’s diamond ring.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#7

Hi,

Actually, “Disruptive” is the correct word for this technology.
Check out this quote from Wikipedia -

A disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new
market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market
and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an
earlier technology. The term is used in business and technology
literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service
in ways that the market does not expect, typically first by
designing for a different set of consumers in a new market and later
by lowering prices in the existing market.

It’s a new use for an old word and is pretty descriptive of what it
does. 3D printing is disruptive in that it is disrupting the whole
jewelry industry, not to mention the other industries effected by it
too.

My 2 cents.


#8

I agree with Brian. Truly artistic jewelry will always trump the
quick CAD doodads. Personally I have seldom seen a design produced in
Rhino Gold or Matrix or any of the CAD programs that really breaths
with an artist’s soul. So much of it carries the cold resonance of
mechanical and impersonal construction. One touch of the mouse button
and voila you’ve got pave spread up the side of your ring shank,
another touch and you’ve mirrored it to the other side. A few more
commands and you’ve spread the gallery to accommodate a bigger stone
and added a couple more prongs. This is all well and good, but the
very act of entrusting these artistic decisions to a mechanical
process automatically cripples some portion of the artistic
intuition, the artistic freedom, and the fine perfectionism that only
comes when the piece is totally controlled by skilled human hands
being orchestrated by a discriminating artistic mind that has
absorbed years of design examples into its memory banks. I feel that
the CAD programs are too clumsy to be put in the role of manifesting
in digital form the fine intuition of a sensitive artist. It may be
possible if the designer has thoroughly mastered his CAD program, or
augmented it with something more organic like Blender, but if the
designer takes the CAD route without having full mastery of his
medium, he may end up settling for a design that is inferior to what
he could have done by hand. These are my thoughts on the matter. I’m
sure there are exceptions. I use CAD myself for much of my work, but
I ALWAYS feel constrained by it.

Larry Heyda


#9

Hi Jo and others

I find it amusing that the photo used at the top of the article
was of necklace made with poorly made Balinese style spacer beads. 

Well said. Why did not an article on CAD design show CAD designed
jewellery? But instead a low grade bead necklace.

I worked for Beadco and we sold hundreds of beads from the four
corners of the world. Venice, Czechoslovakia, Japan, Greece, Africa,
Bali etc etc. The beads in the necklace are not CAD and are low
quality craft stuff.

I have a CAD eternity ring I will get cast In Argentium. It was
designed by Charles Anderson. This piece if it casts and can be set
with 22 stones will change the jewellery world. The azure is not as
refined as by hand but that is only a matter of time. It was posted
that this cannot be done. The proof will be in the casting and
setting and I by no means would guarantee this piece will work, but
if it does well it will be a new world.

That said it is a mass produced type item. I was taught that if you
only want one piece do not cast it as the time to make the master is
the same as to make the piece.

My customers like the handmade aspect of my jewellery. But what the
heck if I could CAD my mobius rings I would, but the printing price
is too expensive, at the moment. But then would the slight variations
from the hand making that would be lost with CAD make them look
boring? They would all look the same.

I just posted a mobius bangle to a customer I made one and re-did 3
times to get the exact look I wanted.

Then I made another one and it was just what I wanted. If I had done
this with CAD could I have just made one bangle once or would it have
been quicker to do it the by hand to get what I wanted?

CAD is an interesting topic and once I reviled from it but have seen
so many interesting CAD pieces I believe there is great potential for
CAD. But what will distinguish western/ American design from Asian
design and Asia’s lower manufacturing cost? Now lets be frank here,
the quality of design from Asia historically has been embraced by the
west. So rather than boosting American/western jewellery the skill of
Asian design may just destroy it.

For CAD produced items vs hand made to order I don’t think so. But
yet again if you can afford to shop in the Place Vendome, perhaps
Shanghai, Mumbai or Tokyo may be just as attractive. It is a global
world now and no less so for jewellery. It will be very soon
international design wars. The quality will be a given.

Interesting times

all the best
Richard


#10
I find it amusing that the photo used at the top of the article
was of necklace made with poorly made Balinese style spacer beads. 

I agree! I noticed that too.

Elaine


#11

3D stone mason in action. scroll down to see video


#12
I look forward to a 3-D stone mason which will carve/print any
stone, macro or micro as I direct it to.

It can be done, you need to look for someone who does flow jetting.

Nick Royall


#13

Richard- I may be responsible for this " The azure is not as refined
as by hand but that is only a matter of time. It was posted that this
cannot be done. " Tim and I were asked to teach an Ajour workshop at
the MJSA Portland Jeweler’s Symposium last year.

Techform Advance who cast in platinum and palladium found that those
particular metals did not cast hand carved or CAD ajour due to the
viscosity of those articular metals. The corners were rounded and
filled in. Also the folks at Techform have to place tiny little
quartz rods in each hole before casting to keep them from just
filling in. It should work better in silver or gold.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#14

Hi all

please don’t use wikipedia as real source. It is not academically
valid.

Richard


#15
I look forward to a 3-D stone mason which will carve/print any
stone, macro or micro as I direct it to... What are the bets when
it will arrive?

Peter, I have seen the shots of a 3D printer doing concrete houses!
The proposal is it is too large to ship houses to mars, so the ship a
3D printer and then build them with that.

Tom Parish of the Artisan Village of Collidge.


#16
I worked for Beadco and we sold hundreds of beads from the four
corners of the world. Venice, Czechoslovakia, Japan, Greece,
Africa, Bali etc etc. The beads in the necklace are not CAD and are
low quality craft stuff. 

I did not know beads were made by machine. I thought they were hand
carved/ground after rough machince cutting. Do you have more
on final shaping of beads by machine?


#17

I don’t think it really changes or disrupts things any more than any
other trend or advancement has. That is to say that we all are
effected by the wide availability of cad produced models and the
ever quicker and more accurate rp models, but no more so than we
were all effected by changes that just-in-time product delivery from
fedex forced on us in the early 80’s. If we used to sketch a design,
then show a wax for approval then make it, we now sketch or show a
rendering (possibly via e-mail), show a carved wax or an rp model
for approval and then make it. It all relatively the same, it’s just
that we have more choices when we decide how to produce custom work
or our line. I think ultimately it has a somewhat neutral effect on
the customer.

I also don’t think that we the makers need to panic about
advancements forcing us to buy many thousands of dollars worth or
software and equipment and then spending countless hours learning to
use it and work out the bugs, or be left behind if we don’t. If our
interests lie in that direction we can make that capital and time
investment, but if they don’t there are thousands of people who have
made that investment and who are looking to work with you.

It’s all good.
Mark


#18
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep81i5 

That is an impressive video Larry but as I posted earlier I would be
more convinced if I saw ordinary necklace beads being done in the
final rounding stage by robot instead of laboriously by human hand.
With 13,000 people on Orchid in the stone cutting and carving
businesses from all over the world, can someone explain why we do not
see this? Nick seemed to be saying that if a human can cut/carve X by
hand a robot can replicate X by scanning -> cutting/carving. Humble
beads too?

Stoteleq, transl. “River Prince” (cc’d) might like to teach robotic
carving at Seabird Island College here if we can partner with all
concerned, supplying nephrite from the local quarry at
futurejade.com I have a historic video on camcorder of him pulling
nephrite out of the talus. That quarry was also a Sto:lo trail for
thousands of years as it is the only pass to 25 miles of Chilliwack
River Valley so it is back in their hands now. They may even have
carved stone from it in the past.

Of course we have to be sure before making such a big investment
which is why some nephrite was sent to Giacomo - for testing. Various
slab cuts with a Lortone saw show interesting patterns in the jade
but not the bright green we might get at deeper levels and closer to
local faults. Certainly we can make nephrite beads from it but why
not replicas of the priceless Transformer Stone (statue) which is in
the care of McHalsie Sr. at Sto:lo Administration?


#19

3-D printing is just another tool. The artistry would be in how it’s
used.

While I prefer character of all things hand made, I would certainly
consider using it for certain elements.


#20

If flow jetting (robotically guided pressure washers) are advanced
this far Nick they are 10 years ahead of where I thought they were.
If I could have a machine scan an object from amulet size to human
size and then cut/carve the replica in stone now I would buy one as
long as I am not paying for someone’s R&D project. That is the job of
academia.