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Best Practices For 3D Printing Jewelry

November 10, 2022

3D printing is changing the way we make things. From toys to furniture, 3D printers are opening up a world of possibilities for designers, engineers and consumers alike. With 3D printing, jewelry designers are able to produce designs that would be incredibly difficult to hand carve in the traditional manner. Breakthroughs in castable resins are setting new standards for the quality available through an affordable desktop 3D printer. Here are a few tips and tricks to achieve the best results when printing jewelry:

Making your Feed Sprues in CAD

The purpose of the sprue system is to hold the wax patterns in place until the wax tree is invested and provide a exit drain for the wax. After the burnout, the sprue system provides the path for the metal to get to the pattern cavities and its design controls how much turbulence and temperature loss the liquid metal will experience along the way. The sprue should be attached to the thickest widest part of the ring or object. Feeder sprues can be attached to run to the thinner more delicate parts of the object if necessary. Sprues should have a smooth radius and tapered to avoid turbulence when liquid metal enters. Making your feed sprues in CAD gives you the liberty to design them and place them precisely where you need them to go.

Design With Polishing Loss In Mind

During the polishing stage there will be a material loss of around 0.2mm all around your model. For example, if you need your ring shank to measure 1.6mm finished, you will have to design and print the ring shank at 1.8mm taking into account it will be polished down to 1.6mm. It is key to focus on the thickness of the entire design to ensure it doesn’t go below the printer’s layer height capabilities.

Ensure You Have A Watertight Model

It is important to build and boolean your model properly to have the best results and increase your casting success rate. This means having a watertight design which implies that there are no holes or non-manifold edges in your model. Using a design that is not properly built or repaired may lead to printing issues as well as casting issues.

3D Printing Jewelry Workflow



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