The jewelry industry has always been dependent on stable hands and intricate designing. For the longest time, jewelry making has always been dependent on especially skilled hands as that of jewelers, artisans, and goldsmiths.
Thankfully, modern technology has upended and revolutionized the jewelry industry. One of the methods used in mass production of complex jewelry designs is rapid prototyping. As such, it includes CNC machining and 3D printing.
In this post, we look at how rapid prototyping is integrated in the design, rendering, and production of jewelries. Some of the major advantages of resorting to rapid prototyping by jewelry companies are also laid down, so, read on.
How Rapid Prototyping Processes Are Incorporated in the Jewelry Industry
Jewelry making used to be a tedious process. Before the final products are made, a series of drawing the design, polishing the details, and then drafting the blueprint design are done in between.
With rapid prototyping, CAD applications are now integrated to draw and render design prototypes. After which, the prototype can be made.
When printed out through a 3D printer, it gives a 2D or 3D image of the jewelry design. In effect, designers can easily spot the glitches in design, place improvements, and tweak the design for the better.
While rapid prototyping is not upfront cost-efficient, having reduced errors in designs and more accurate designs weigh a lot of pros in mass production and producing custom made jewelry.
Upfront Advantages of Rapid Prototyping in the Jewelry Industry
From the above mentioned, the general advantages of rapid prototyping in the jewelry industry are already laid down.
But of course, knowing the specific upfront benefits of rapid prototyping in making jewelries would intrigue you more. Here are the significant advantages of rapid prototyping in the jewelry industry.
As has been said, jewelry making depends on accuracy. Every stone is there for a precise reason. Every polishing, the materials used and combined are intentional. Making one piece is a rigorous process and errors have no place in such an industry.
Fortunately, with the use of rapid prototyping, errors in jewelry making are minimized. For example, jewelers no longer need to go through drawing and drafting only to find glitches later and start again.
With CAD renders and 3D printing, jewelers can have a model of the jewelry designs before they can be finalized. Rapid Direct reports that rapid prototyping has dramatically lessened errors in jewelry production by 97%.
Reduced Production Time:
With CAD renders, 3D printing or CNC machining, rapid prototyping cuts production time by 92%, according to Bel Diamond. As has been said, gone are the days of drawing and drafting for weeks to polish a jewelry design.
Design trial and error could all be done in the computer. A thorough inspection of all angles can be done through CAD. From brainstorming to CAD, one can only spend a few hours.
The same few hours are spent from CAD to 3D rendering for testing and validation. Reeling these in, a week’s job in making jewelries is now just done in hours. In effect? More production, more profit.
Special jewelry pieces involve a high level of customization. With rapid prototyping processes, the designer can easily tweak the design upon your specific liking. The amount of detail is endless especially that it is easy to put designs and details now in CAD.
Visualize this, you go to your jeweler. While you give in your preferred design and details, your jeweler builds it up from the CAD application. Right there and then, you can talk it up to incorporate other details or modify some.
Through the process, you go home satisfied having seen outright the possible outcome of your customized jewelry. This is precisely what rapid prototyping provides the jewelry industry.
Based on the design and its intricacy plus the tedious processes involved, jewelries do not cost a fortune for nothing.
Luckily, with the use of rapid prototyping processes involved in the present day jewelry industry, some of the tedious traditional processes are skipped out.
Moreover, the existence of reduced errors in production also upends cost-efficiency in jewelry production. If you are a jeweler right now, the high upfront cost of CAD, 3D printer and CNC machining will give you high profits later.
For sure, there are other rapid prototyping advantages that were not listed here. Nevertheless, when it comes to the immediate effects of rapid prototyping in the jewelry industry, the above mentioned are what you should expect.
Rapid Prototyping Limitation in Jewelry Making
Of course, rapid prototyping, like all other modern production innovations, is not a perfect process. With all things considered, what possible limitation could rapid prototyping have?
Bel Diamond and Fashion Innovation both agree that rapid prototyping has diminished human, organic touch in jewelry making. The craftsmanship, personal touch, and client-artisan relationship which make jewelry pieces intimate, personal, and with lots of character are all diminished now.
It is as if jewelries have become less special since you can have a uniform design and can be bought by as many people.
While this is not entirely true since you can have high customization with rapid prototyping, such limitation is entirely conditioned by personal preferences.
How is 3d Printing Used for Jewelry Design?
3D printing is a popular technique in additive manufacturing. If you want a 3D model of what you are working on, be it a prototype or the final product, 3D is a perfect solution.
There are various 3D printing techniques which you can use. In the jewelry industry alone, a handful of 3D printing techniques are applied.
For one, selective laser sintering, digital light protection or SLA, and fused deposition modeling (FDM) are used in the prototyping and validation phase.
In the final steps of producing the final product, the jewelry pieces undergo selective laser melting (SLM).
Contributions of 3D Printing in a Revolutionized Jewelry Industry
3D printing is making rounds in the jewelry industry for good reasons. You can factor in the following contributions of 3D printing in production and know more about its role in the jewelry industry.
As have been said, traditional jewelry making is tedious and taxing. Majority of the time spent in the process is given to wax casting where the initial design is casted on a wax to create a replica of the design.
With 3D printing, this phase is already discarded. You can now modify, and redesign the jewelry instantly without having to change the cast every now and then. With this instant method, production is made faster and in a very convenient manner.
The good thing about using 3D printing in jewelry production is that you can use a wide variety of materials to model and wear before finalizing your design.
A glitch free design makes production continuous. Other than that, potential production errors are also eliminated. All of these makes prototyping through 3D printing of wearable jewelry designs offer low-cost production.
Through 3D printing, both the jeweler and the client are granted a higher degree of freedom, design-wise. 3D printing has offered a way for clients and jewelers to talk about the feasibility of the design, the shape, dimensions, and key details to be incorporated.
As such, you can customize all you can when it comes to 3D printing in the jewelry industry.
These are only some of the best contributions of 3D printing in the jewelry industry. There are still others not covered but from here alone, you can only deem how significant the role of 3D printing is in an evolving jewelry industry.
CNC Machining for Jewelry Design
If 3D printing is additive manufacturing, CNC machining is subtractive in nature. CNC machining is used in automation processes in production.
As such, CNC machining is used in the jewelry industry in manually sculpting the jewelry design through computer applications and then puts the prototype to life through automated equipment or 3D printing.
Some of the jewelries put under CNC machining are high detail ones like rings, pendants, and customized bracelets.
Role of CNC Machining in Modernizing the Jewelry Industry
Before the production of the final jewelry pieces, CNC machining sculpts up the prototype for you to validate the details of your jewelry.
However, there are other specific, significant roles of CNC machining in modernizing the jewelry industry. Some of these are the following:
If you are working with highly detailed, intricate geometry jewelry pieces, you can trust CNC machining to make master models for you. Instead of doing the cutwork of traditional wax carving, turning, and milling, CNC machining offers greater precision in these master models.
Some of the other techniques involved in making precise and stable master models are water jet cutting and other cooling systems.
If you need an easier way to create prototypes and produce jewelries, you can use molds in CNC machining. Typically, CNC machining is used to get an imprint form of the prototype.
After which, the imprint is carved in metal or other types of compatible materials. To get down to the final product, injection molding plastics can be inserted.
The use of molds is especially practical for flat jewelry pieces like pendants. It is also beneficial in making large-volume, uniform jewelry pieces like graduation rings, fraternity rings, sports championship rings, among others.
Engraving And Finishes:
See, CNC machining cuts out a negative imprint and then carves it on the jewelry material. This same benefit of CNC machining makes jewelry engraving and finishes handier.
Remember that CNC machining is controlled by a computer. Hence, if you want meaningful words, phrases, initials, or intricate symbols etched in your jewelry, using CNC machining is a perfect solution now used in the jewelry industry.
Kemal Plastic Injection Molding Services
Almost everything that we have covered here calls for a reliable plastic injection molding company. If you are looking for a complete injection molding service as well as rapid prototyping products and services, you can check out Kemal Manufacturing.
Having been around for decades, Kemal is trusted in the field and has a commendable success rate in terms of rapid prototyping and plastic injection molding products and services.
And if you are endeavoring to explore jewelry making through rapid prototyping, you can depend on Kemal to do the job for you too.
To expand what you already know as to rapid prototyping, here are some FAQs about the technique which may come in handy later.
There are various processes involved in rapid prototyping. In the jewelry industry, CAD, CNC machining, and 3D printing are the most sought after. 3D printing is beneficial in jewelry making as it creates wearable prototypes for validation and modification of details.
CNC machining on the other hand is significant in the jewelry industry for manual sculpting of prototypes, and in the engraving of final products.
Overall, these functions of each process contribute more to the jewelry industry. Some of the commendable benefits of resorting to rapid prototyping in the jewelry industry are cost-efficiency, design flexibility, and faster, more accurate, and improved production.