So you want to get your hands on some freshly printed jewelry? With the 3D printed goods market still evolving there are many places to find jewelry online.
Etsy - this is one of the Internet's largest marketplaces for handmade products. Naturally this community lends itself to 3D printed objects. Although technically 3D printing is in a handmade process the design, creation and do-it-yourself movement of the industry certainly places it into the handmade category.
Shapeways - another marketplace one can find a design they love, choose this material and have it shipped to the front door. One can model their own product, upload it to Shapeways, choose the material and have it delivered as well. It is a wonderful marketplace for sellers and creative thinkers alike.
Nervous System - industrial design studio that integrates processes and patterns found in nature to create unique and affordable art, jewelry and housewares.
Hot Pop Factory - this Toronto-based creative design team uses digital fabrication technology to bring ideas to life. With a keen focus on the artistic side of 3D printing designs from this company sure to raise eyebrows. They provide services such as design service, 3D interactivity and education on the industry itself.
Many metals cannot be 3D printed yet but jewelry makers are already making wax molds using 3D printers.
3D printing may revolutionize the jewelry industry. If you haven't heard of 3D printing then you are really behind as it is changing the world. 3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing in which a digital model of an object can become a solid, 3D dimensional object. Nowadays just about any material can be used as 3D printer food such as plastics, ceramics, metals and even chocolate. 3D printing is a mainstay in the do-it-yourself movement considered a wave in the wake of the next Industrial Revolution.
Everyone and anyone has access to 3D printing. With 3D printing the power of manufacturing is put into the user's hands. No longer does it cost thousands of dollars in investment capital for the necessary molding equipment. It doesn't take months of apprenticeship. 3D printers can be had as for cheapest $300 and are going to even get more affordable.
The design is now in your hands. The power of CAD modeling software has progressed to the point where the only limitation is and what you can create are the 3D printers themselves think of CAD as the architect and the 3D printer as a civil engineer. The architect dreams up the vision while the civil engineer is there to tell the architect it can't be done. The technology for 3D printing however is advancing at a rapid rate and soon enough for quality, rate of production and material choice will rival traditional manufacturing methods. Numerous companies and 3D printers are popping up all over the world. The greatest advantage of the 3D printing age is the ability for customization.
The biggest challenge is disrupting the precious gem portion of the jewelry industry (read article - Jewelry Creation). With current technology, it is impossible to 3D print highly coveted fine ores such as diamond or gold. In this case, jewelry is molded from 3D printed wax castings by the lost wax casting method. Synthetic gems like Sapphire and Emerald are possible to re-create but will people want them? Perhaps an amazing highly coveted composite material will be made in the future and scientists will find a way to 3D print gold. Before all that happens however jewelry makers everywhere are able to design and create beautiful, complex jewelry with 3D printing.