Creating a Sterling Purse Charm, Part 1

As I wrote before, I’m going to experiment with using 3D printing to create fine jewelry. My first try at 3D printing jewelry is a pretty simple design, a sterling silver purse charm for my wife.  If you’re not familiar with bag charms, take a look at this page on Louis Vuitton’s website.  They can be quite expensive and are usually made out of non-precious metals.  So I thought I’d create a custom charm for my wife, have it 3D printed in plastic, and then cast it in silver.  This blog post covers the process up to the first test casting …

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Heading off for an adventure in 3d printing fine jewelry

I’ve been wanting to experiment with 3D printing for a long time, and have started in earnest to see what I can do with it (as opposed to, of course, what others more talented can do with it).  I’m not particularly keen on printing chess pieces, or replacement parts for a vacuum cleaner, or a lot of the other kind of mundane purposes I see.  But I am interested in jewelry (and my wife is a gemologist, which is very handy) and I have some skills in the area, and so I thought I’d see what she and I can do in terms of creating, via 3D printing, fine jewelry that can be sold commercially.

3D printing is, in many ways, a sort of renaissance art, requiring skills across a wide variety of areas to go from idea to finished object in your hand, especially if you want that object to be something of value (like jewelry). But because of the limitations of 3D printers, the results tend to be more along the lines of “art jewelry” or “costume jewelry” — jewelry where the raw materials are fairly inexpensive.  

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