You can make jewelry with a 3D printer, and this manufacturing method is becoming more common and practical. It’s not often used for precious metals because 3D printer technology cannot quite do as good a job as real jewelers.
This post will explore if you can make jewelry with a 3D printer. I’ll show you how this is possible and spotlight a few issues with the process that reflect the current state of 3D printer technology. I’ll also highlight some other useful and relevant information.
Let’s jump in.
- Key Takeaways
- Can You Make Jewelry with a 3D Printer?
- 3D Printer for Gold Jewelry
- 3D Printed Jewelry Business
- Who Should Get This?
- How to Choose a Good 3D Printer for Jewelry?
- What’s The Best 3D Printer for Jewelry?
- Other Useful Tips & Resources
- Final Thoughts
- Making jewelry with a 3D printer is possible, but using precious metals for fine jewelry is not commonly used this way.
- As 3D printing technology continues to evolve, using it for jewelry is likely to become more commonplace.
- Because of evolving technology, most jewelers don’t feel comfortable using 3D printers for custom work with costly materials such as gold and silver.
Can You Make Jewelry with a 3D Printer?
You can make jewelry with a 3D printer, and this innovative technology can lead to many creative designs. Many fine jewelers are still hesitant to adopt the practice, but this could change as the printers get better.
Even though it’s possible to make jewelry with a 3D printer, it doesn’t always lead to the kind of jewelry you might be accustomed to. But jewelry is personal, and there are still plenty of excellent pieces being created with these printers.
Most 3D-printed jewelry is made of plastics and polymers rather than precious metals. It is possible to use precious metals, and I’ll explore that more in the section below. But using more readily available materials is ideal for current technologies.
You might not think that a plastic or polymer ring or other piece is ideal or valuable, but there are a lot of great items being manufactured by creative jewelers all over the place. These might be less valuable, but they are still really cool.
3D Printer for Gold Jewelry
Gold jewelry, and other pieces made with precious metals, are what most people think of when they want jewelry. And it is technically possible to make gold jewelry with a 3D printer. It’s just not that common yet.
This is because only some 3D printers can use precious metals as the medium for printing. And because gold and other metals are so valuable, jewelers don’t want to experiment with things and get bad products that people don’t want to buy.
As technologies improve, so will the frequency and availability of 3D-printed jewelry made out of precious metals. Custom jewelers will still exist, but 3D printing might revolutionize the industry in the not-so-distant future.
3D Printed Jewelry Business
If you are a jeweler or looking to get into jewelry making, consider incorporating 3D printer jewelry into what you offer. This has the potential to save you time and effort and help you be successful.
However, running a 3D printer jewelry business without offering any handmade items is still a risky endeavor right now. Most people still want to purchase handmade items rather than 3D-printed options, especially for more expensive items and precious metals.
But if you position yourself to capitalize on the possibilities that 3D printing affords, you can boost your sales. If you offer both handmade options and 3D printer jewelry, you can take advantage of both sides of the market.
Jewelers, like any small business, can face a lot of ups and downs. It can be a good idea to explore new technologies and methods of production, and this is precisely what 3D-printed jewelry affords.
Who Should Get This?
If you’re a jewelry maker on any level, a 3D printer can really open up your possibilities.
By having the ability to go from an idea to a fully 3D replica in a short amount of time, 3D printers allow you to explore new concepts and tweak your designs with little risk or cost.
They also give you the chance to create a larger quantity of jewelry in a shorter amount of time. That means more potential profits if you’re trying to sell your work.
These printers are also great for hobbyists who may just be starting to explore the art of jewelry making. You can also print a number of other things with any of the below models as well.
Just know that while these options can certainly help you come up with interesting designs, they won’t quite allow you to create majestic works of fine metal and jewels. That’s still a made-by-hand skill.
How to Choose a Good 3D Printer for Jewelry?
Taking the following factors into account, your decision-making will be much easier.
If you want to undertake 3D jewelry printing, it’s always important to look at your printer’s speed. 3D printing jewelry is simply going to be much faster than traditional jewelry making and can allow you to have many more end products in a much shorter amount of time.
However, only if your printer allows for it. Do what you can to get a fast model within your budget in order to get the best possible results.
A high-resolution 3D printer is ideal for creating jewelry because it will give you the ability to print intricate details and designs with ease.
If you want your designs to translate from the software you’re using to a great end product, the resolution should be the main concern. All of the printers listed here have a high resolution capable of producing beautiful and dynamic jewelry.
3D printing compatibility refers to the type of materials the machine can use while it works. When it comes to jewelry making, the more options, the better.
To get unique creations, you’ll want to print with a range of materials as a way to expand your creativity. You never want to get stuck with only a few as that will limit what you can do.
What’s The Best 3D Printer for Jewelry?
Here are a few of our top recommendations, along with a quick review of each printer.
1. ANYCubic Photon S 3D Printer
This printer features a UV LCD resin design that creates high-resolution pieces. The upgraded UV module and 2560X1440 resolution screen allow for excellent phototype precision and uniform energy distribution.
That means you’ll be able to create jewelry that accurately reflects your intended design and have the pieces look stunning while doing so.
This printer is also a great first 3D printer because it comes nearly preassembled and is very easy to set up. A Z-axis dual linear rail design helps to eliminate any wobble and works towards accurate 3D replicates of your models.
Other great features include a touch screen for an easy user interface and a sanded aluminum platform that will keep everything stable and secure when printing.
2. ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD Printer
For a solid budget option, check out the ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD Printer. ELEGOO is a well-known brand in the 3D printing world and this printer reflects over five years of innovative designs and developments.
This printer uses LED display photocuring and a UV-integrated light source to produce reliable results when printing jewelry. It utilizes a 2560X1440 2K HD masking on the XY axis for excellent print quality as well.
This is also a fast printer, which means you can count on it to churn out a high number of pieces if you so need. The CHITUBOX slicing software this comes with creates a great user experience and the 3.5-inch touchscreen allows for easy setup and control.
3. Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer
The Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer is a great 3D jewelry printing option. This model is great for those who need to make a wide range of jewelry thanks to the non-toxic, plant-based, and recyclable PLA filament.
In addition, it’s also capable of making many types of crafts and creations. That makes it a versatile option for those who want the ability to print other items. It’s reliable, easy to use, and comes with a good 1-year warranty.
Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions relating to if you can make jewelry with a 3D printer.
What material is used in 3D printing jewelry?
Most of the jewelry currently created using 3D printing is made of plastics and polymers rather than precious metals. This material is more readily available and works better with current 3D printer technology.
How do you make custom jewelry for a 3D printer?
This process can vary, depending on who is creating the jewelry. But it typically starts with making a wax model with a 3D printer. Then this model is covered in plaster. And then, that plaster is filled with a precious metal to create the end result.
Can you make gold jewelry with a 3D printer?
Making gold jewelry with a 3D printer is technically possible, but it isn’t that common. As 3D printer technology gets better, it’s likely that more people will use gold. But it’s still somewhat challenging to use precious metals directly in a 3D printer.
Other Useful Tips & Resources
If you’re already a skilled jeweler, you know the basics of the craft and probably have a bunch of equipment at your disposal.
If you’re just getting started and want to use a 3D printer to bring your designs to life, check out this video for some tips on simple 3D jewelry ideas that will help you explore and expand your skills.
3D-printed jewelry is becoming more and more common. Although there will probably always be a market for handmade jewelry, 3D-printed pieces can be affordable for consumers and a lucrative endeavor for jewelers.
3D printing with precious metals is poised to become more accessible in the coming years. As printer technology improves, so will the creative possibilities it allows. It will be interesting to see how this changes the jewelry industry in the long run.
Have you ever used a 3D printer for jewelry or anything else? Let me know in the comments below.