At present, there are two technologies that define the production of the jewelry industry: handmade and lost wax casting. Both of these technologies require a lot of technical expertise and are very time-consuming, and may be costly due to errors in the production process.
However, with the development of science and technology, digital design and 3D printing are ready to subvert the tradition with more advanced manufacturing processes. Complementing traditional processes with digital technology brings new possibilities for jewelers in design and production, and exciting new customization options for customers.
In the traditional lost wax casting, jewelry designers manually carve the original pattern with wax, burn the wax mold in the mold, and then pour precious metals such as gold or silver into the mold cavity to make the casting. In order to achieve its final appearance, the designer polished and finished the casting to make it shine. Now, jewelers only need to create designs digitally through digital workflow, and then use software tools such as CAD to generate 3D printed patterns using high-resolution 3D printers, and then cast them into molds. After the male mold is burned out, the process follows the same path as traditional investment casting. Due to digital technology, the demand for time-intensive manual labor is reduced, and the design itself is easy to save, modify and recreate when needed.
In the field of jewelry retail, the combination of on-site digital design and 3D printing speed greatly shortens the feedback cycle between designers and customers. The transition from design to production becomes easier and faster because there is no need to manually carve precious disposable items. The fitting parts can be customized according to the customer's requirements, 3D printed again, and then made with lost wax casting, which means that the cost of making customized 3D printed jewelry is significantly reduced.
Although 3D printing jewelry has potential, it currently accounts for only a small part of the market. However, as 3D printing technology becomes more and more easy to} use and popular, the 3D printing jewelry market is expected to grow. 3D printing in jewelry has broad prospects. With the wide adoption of workflow technology in the industry, the arrival of a new generation of designers skilled in these technologies, and the creation of new and safer materials and hardware.