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Application and prospects of 3D printers in the jewelry industry

Due to the widespread adoption of CAD software by jewelry designers, 3D printing is used in almost every aspect of jewelry manufacturing. Even in traditional manufacturing using vulcanized silicon molds, initial models are often 3D printed using high-temperature-resistant photopolymer resins. Jewelry prototypes for size and shape verification are complemented by direct casting and mass production using direct 3D printed wax and resin patterns. The next step in development is direct metal 3D printing. So, what are the applications and prospects of 3D printers in the jewelry industry today?
Waxes used for direct casting in 3D printing have been used for nearly two decades through Solidscape material jetting technology. Over the past decade, jewelry manufacturers and jewelry 3D printing service providers have been introducing castable resins with material jetting and barrel photopolymerization technologies. Today, these technologies are evolving with the introduction of low-cost systems (under $5,000) and high-productivity (layerless DLP) systems, opening the door to a new phase of growth and the introduction of more complex and customized products. Mass production provides wider adoption. The next step is to directly 3D print precious metal jewelry, but the complexity of the technology and the large initial investment required mean that for the near future, this will remain an opportunity limited to a few experienced companies.

Jewelry 3D printing related fields
Related areas of jewelry 3D printing include hardware (photopolymerization and metal powder bed fusion), materials (photopolymers and precious metal powders), jewelry-specific 3D printing service bureaus, jewelry-specific CAD software, and 3D-printed jewelry applications.

Jewelry 3D printing manufacturer
Stakeholders in the jewelry additive manufacturing space range from manufacturers of AM systems with special capabilities to cast materials to suppliers of gold, platinum, silver and other precious metal alloy metal powders optimized for AM systems to suppliers specializing in Many applications of AM adopters are used in the jewelry industry. Leading technology and materials providers for jewelry AM include Stratasys, Solidscape (now part of Prodways), 3D Systems, EnvisionTEC, EOS, Concept Laser, Sisma, ReaLizer (DMG Mori) and brands such as Cooksongold, Legor, Progold, Hildebrand and Heraeus.

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