Page 2 of 2: 3D Printing
Once a design is ready for manufacturing, there are a few options for brining it from the digital world to the real one. CNC milling has been used to carve castable waxes; however, the physical limitations of milling also limit the types of designs, and specific design elements that can be produced. Queue 3D Printing
3D Printed Masters
If the name of the game is preserving tradition, 3D Printing a moldable master is a common practice. Any moldable material can be used as the starting point for the lost wax casting process, seamlessly integrating into existing workflows and processes already being used by foundries.
While it's a great option, material choice makes all the difference. Some 3D Printed materials don't mold well due to their properties and the properties of the rubber used by jewelers and casters. Others may leave visible lines from the printing process.
When it does work well, 3D Printing masters is a great way to kick off production on a line of pieces that would require molds to meet order numbers, since they are not often a print-to-cast material. A good 3D Print with fine detail, can make for an excellent mold, and of course a great looking piece of finished jewelery.
3D Printing: Castable Wax
Then there's castable wax: 3D Printed wax that can integrated directly into the casting phase of a foundry or jeweler's workflow. High resolution and lineless, castable 3D Printed wax is the ultimate solution for creating custom pieces, or anything that couldn't otherwise be pulled from a mold.
True 3D Printed wax is produced using "Multijet Technology," created by 3D Systems. In this type of high grade printing, hundreds of micro jets deposit part and support material on to a build tray at microns fine resolution. The resulting prints are ultra fine detail, and post processed to separate the part from the support. Since it's wax, it's then ready to be placed on a tree and cast.
Check out some of the work created by 3D Proven Systems and its clients
Visit www.3dprovensystems.com/contactus to start your own Design to Diamonds project.