The process

Do you have a 3D printer at home? Currently, there are no home 3D printers that print metal directly with the fine details that characterize my jewelry. However, I recently built a Prusa i3 MKS+ 3D printer from a kit and purchased an Eazao Zero SE clay 3D printer so that I can learn a little more about 3D printing machinery, and maybe design some new science-inspired products with this technology.

How are metals 3D-printed? Metal pieces are created using a combination of high resolution 3D wax printing and lost wax casting followed by tumble polishing. 3D printing and casting are done for me by Shapeways in the Netherlands.

I would like a custom-designed piece of jewelry. How long does that take and how much will it cost? I'm not currently accepting custom jewelry requests, unless you need a small alteration to an existing product (i.e., a pendant adapted to cufflinks) or you have an idea for a new design. Some of my best designs have come from customer suggestions. If it's a little too niche, though, I probably won't be able to do it. A new design takes time and money to create, and I can't make that kind of investment unless I can sell more than one of an item.

Not sure where your idea falls on this continuum? Write to me and let me know what you're dreaming of.

Do you 3D scan the organisms to create your designs? 3D scans of organisms are not widely available and don’t provide the artistic flexibility that I need. All my designs are digitally hand sculpted using Blender, a 3D modeling software.


The product

I can’t decide which metal to order. What is the difference between the metal materials? A complete description of all of the 3D printed metals available in my shop can be viewed here: Materials

I am allergic to nickel. Is your jewelry nickel-free? None of the metals that I sell contain nickel. If you have allergies, please consult my Materials page to see the chemical composition of each metal.

How should I store my silver? To prevent or slow tarnishing, silver should be stored in a dark, airtight container.

My silver/bronze jewelry has tarnished. What should I do? Tarnishing is a natural chemical process that occurs in silver and bronze exposed to the air. To remove it, I recommend using a gentle silver polish designed for jewelry use and a soft cloth.

I can’t remove/attach the lapel pin clasp. How does it work? Recently, I have started using locking pin backs with my lapel pins because they are more secure than standard butterfly clasps. To remove a locking pin back from a pin, pull on the small disk at the end of the clasp to release it.

Do you offer gift wrapping? Every piece of jewelry is packaged in an elegant grey box lined with black velour and finished with a grey ribbon.

Is your packaging eco-friendly? Except for the velour foam inside the jewelry box, all shipping materials are recyclable. The packing peanuts in the box are made of corn starch and will dissolve in water. For the sake of our oceans, there will be no bubble wrap or other plastics in your shipment.


The business

Will I be charged customs on my order? If you live outside of Germany, it's possible that you will be charged customs duties upon shipment to your country. You will be responsible for paying any customs charges or import duties. For UK customers, all orders over 135 GBP are subject to import duty.

Will I be charged VAT on my order? If you live in the EU, VAT is automatically included in the prices shown on my site and will show in your invoice.

I need something as a gift for next week, but your website says that it is not in stock and won't ship for 3-4 weeks. Is there any way I can get it sooner? I do my best to keep as many pieces in stock as possible, but unfortunately I may not have the one you want. My 3D printing service (Shapeways) requires 3-4 weeks for the production of a new piece. The jewelry is delivered directly to me in Germany and I then ship it to you. It's possible that I have the piece you want in a different material or style. Please contact me at ontogenie3d@gmail.com for more information.

Why do some prices seem weird or are wildly different for similar products? There are two factors that affect Ontogenie jewelry prices: (1) All prices are calculated in Euros because Ontogenie is based in Germany. This might mean that the price that you see in your currency is not rounded to the nearest integer. (2) the price of precious metal 3D-printing depends on the volume of metal used in printing the piece as well as the volume that the piece occupies in the printer. Some pieces may look similar but can differ in volume. The price reflects the costs I incur from the 3D-printing service.

What is your return/exchange policy? I happily accept returns and exchanges within 30 days of receipt of the shipment. Please read my Return Policy for more detailed information.

Do you offer gift cards?  Yes! You can see them here: Ontogenie Gift Cards