How do I design my 3D printed jewelry?
It begins as most art does: in a sketchbook.
I work through multiple drawings and renditions of an idea until I have dialed it in to its loveliest state.
Using a CAD (Computer-Aided Design) program, I can translate these drafts from my sketchbook into three-dimensional geometries on the XYZ planes of virtual space.
A lengthy, often arduous process of 3D modeling and trial & error ensues. It takes several weeks for each piece to be printed, but it often takes me months of experimentation, prototyping and minute mathematical adjustments to see one of my models through to its final state.
What is "sintered nylon?"
A strong, flexible nylon plastic that was printed through the SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) process.
In this technique, the object is built up slowly, thin layer by layer, with a powdered material that gets fused together by a laser.
Because of the ascending layers, it is sometimes possible to see a slight “woodgrain” texture in certain areas. I consider this to be one of the most subtle and beautiful attributes of the material and process!
This SLS method produces a much smoother and more professional matte finish than that of the FDM printers currently available for home use, which often produce jagged and uneven structures with a less refined, glossy, styrene plastic.
Deceptively lightweight, it's perfect for big earrings!
You can 3d print metal??
I print my pieces in an alloy of 60% 420 stainless steel 40% bronze.
In this process, a specialty printer rolls out a layer of fine stainless steel powder and deposits small adhesive drops to the surface. This happens many, many, many times until the object is built up into a fragile, “sand castle” state.
The binding adhesive is then burned out as the piece is infused with bronze, creating your lovely solid metal object.
Just like with sintered nylon, the process sometimes imparts a subtle, pleasing "woodgrain" texture.
This material has a nice weight to it that makes it perfect for bangles, pendants and rings.