February 14 is this Friday! If you’re thinking “so what” and you are currently in a relationship and want to stay in that relationship, you better start scrambling; because, this Friday is Valentine’s Day!
Aside from chocolates, flowers and a nice romantic dinner, jewelry also can be lumped into the category of classic Valentine’s Day treats. But, this year, if you are considering buying that someone special something special in the form of jewelry, take a look at this!
Rather than heading out to your local jeweler, how about you fire up your 3D design software! If you don’t have 3D printing capabilities of your own, perhaps, you can turn to Cambridge startup Matter.io to help you with designing and creating custom jewelry with a 3D printer.
But, unlike most 3D printers that generate objects that are made of plastic, chief executive Dylan Reid went a step above that idea and to make jewelry from metals such as brass, bronze, steel and sterling silver. These materials are more durable and are hopefully reminiscent of your strong bond with your significant other.
Some of the common 3D printers are MakerBot and Formlabs that mold liquid resins into plastic objects. However, Matter.io uses high-end printers that utilize thin layers of powdered metals, which are then zapped by lasers. Next, the metal filaments are heated and cooled and that is what creates the solid shapes. The laser-zapped powder is then layered and produces a piece of jewelry.
Or, what if this is the year you pop the question to your better half? Well, there’s a 3D printer for that, too!
There is one jeweler in the Big Apple that has big plans this year. One tech-thinking New York jeweler, by the name of American Pearl, is using 3D printing in order to let customers create their own customized pieces of gold, platinum and silver more quickly and cheaply than the traditional jewelry-making process. So, if popping the question is a last-minute decision for you this Valentine’s Day, you are in luck; because, you don’t even have to travel to New York to get the ring, you can order it online from your computer.
It may seem like the future of technology with 3D printing is upon us; but, the CEO of the company has cracked an important piece that is necessary for making 3D printing a mainstream service for consumers. He is putting the power of creation into the hands of the buyer by allowing the consumer to pick the size, type of gemstone, metal, color, the piece’s form and fitting.
American Pearl uses a Solidscape T76 3D printer that creates a wax model of the piece. That same model is then used to invent a thermoplastic sculpture of the piece that is followed by a mold constructed of latex, rubber or silicon, to which they pour gold to fashion the final piece.
So, as a final reminder, this Friday is Valentine’s Day; and, maybe this year you can use your creativity to think outside the ring box and surprise your loved one with a new piece of 3D printed jewelry!
Copyright Davison 2014