Brilliance.com — one of the leading, largest and longest running eCommerce websites for the sale of diamonds, engagement rings and jewellery — is opening up to 3D printing in a whole new way. As we have seen on 3DPI, 3D printing already plays a huge role in the jewellery and precious metal manufacturing industry, both for lost wax casting and direct to metal additive manufacturing, but its application in the jewellery users arena is still limited.
Services, such as JewelryThis, have been launched to explore the digital design global marketplace’s potential for rings and necklaces but Brilliance.com wants to use 3D printing as an added value service to its customers by letting them try out printed versions of the final rings, before purchasing them, through its new 3D Rings program.
Shai Barel, form Brilliance.com, told me that customer response has been excellent. “We launched this program several days ago and we have already received dozens of requests.” The service was modelled to cater to many people’s need to save both time and money by shopping online while getting the in-store experience and sizing service.
“Many people work long hours and just don’t have time to go to their local jewellery store, which they know is typically more expensive than online. We wanted to bring the shopping experience to the customer, for free. Many times people would buy a cushion cut diamond simply based on a picture without knowing what it actually looks like in physical form and on their finger. With diamonds, size does matter but a bigger diamond is not necessarily the best fit for a person. Someone with very slim fingers may end up preferring a one carat rather than a two carat stone and through our 3D Rings services they can find out before they buy it.”
Brilliance.com customers who have access to 3D printers will be able to download the ring files that will assist with deciding on what shape, size and carat diamond to purchase, as well as a 3D printed sizer to find out the exact ring size. If they do not yet have a 3D printer, US customers can ask to receive the 3D printed models for free. “Ultimately,” says Shai, “we will have STL files available for free for all of the stock items on our website. We have been playing around with manufacturers for several months before we went live with it.”
While this is an absolute first as far as commercial 3D printing applications go, the implementation of additive manufacturing in the jewellery manufacturing industry is a well established practice and using the digital models to offer customers an added value service – especially for something as delicate and personal as an engagement ring – seems like a logical sequential step. Brilliance.com had it first and its success may mean many more will follow suit. Would you want to try how that custom made smartphone fits in your hand before you buy it?