3D printing offers a diverse array of materials for jewelry design.
The cast metals are first 3D printed in wax with a high resolution printer using my design file. A plaster mold is then poured around the wax and the plaster is allowed to set. The wax is melted away, the plaster form is filled with molten metal and the metal is allowed to harden (lost wax casting). After being released from the mold, the metal piece can be polished to a shiny gloss or left unpolished.
The photo on the left shows the Mitochondrion pendant design printed in polished sterling silver, polished bronze and 14K gold plated brass.
Both silver and bronze will tarnish slightly over time. Bronze tarnishes to a warm brown and silver to a darker gray. This is completely normal for these materials. They can both be brightened with a gentle silver polish and soft cloth. The 14K gold plated brass material is a brass with a thin coating of 14K gold. Care should be taken that the plated jewelry is not exposed to friction as this could result in small areas of the plating rubbing off.
If you would prefer that your jewelry be printed in solid platinum, 14K gold, 14K rose gold, 14K white gold or 18K gold, please contact me for a nonbinding quote on the price.
In contrast to the cast metals, steel is created by 3D printing a liquid binder onto a bed of steel powder. The resulting print is infused with bronze and baked in an oven to harden.
Steel can also be plated with various metals after printing.
For more information on the chemical composition of each material, please consult the following:
Sterling Silver: 93% Silver, 4% Copper, 3% Zinc
Brass: 80% Copper, 15% Zinc, 5% Tin
Bronze: 90% Copper,10% Tin Alloy
Gold plated brass (14K electroplated gold on brass)
Steel: 60% Steel, 40% Bronze matrix material