3D Printers

3D Printing Refines the Jewelry Making Process for Sarah Graham Metalsmithing

The practice of 3D printing with precious metals to make jewelry is a hot topic at the moment, and is also one that is constantly innovating and expanding by the day. One jewelry designer, Sarah Graham, is now utilizing Formlab’s Form 1+ 3D printer to help carry this market further than it has ever been before. Her company, Sarah Graham Metalsmithing, focuses on producing jewelry that is organic, textural, and finely detailed, and, before partnering up with Formlabs, she had to pay a pretty penny to her service bureau to utilize their expensive 3D printers in order to achieve the quality she desired. But, now, thanks to Formlabs and their ability to print with castable resins, Graham is able to design, modify, and print her own products in a more cost-effective and timely manner.

3dprinting_metalsmith2Since Graham’s shop is quite small in size, the studio’s team members make it a point to specialize in hand designing their own jewelry and only put out high-quality products. She is currently reaching even more technical levels of craftsmanship by utilizing CAD design and the Form 1+ printer, possessing SLA technology that is extremely capable of printing castable resins at the level of detail and quality standards that Graham holds for her jewelry line. Testing the Formlabs printer with her fingerprint ring design, Graham was admittedly amazed at the resolution and quality of the design that the Form 1+ produced, which was able to replicate a finely detailed fingerprint onto the castable resin just as well as the overpriced industrial printers were able to do for her in the past.

Graham believes that her newfound method of desktop 3D printing and design will eliminate a lot of unnecessary busy-work and cost from the process. With CAD, she is now able to add her unique stones and bezels onto her jewelry, printing a completed ring, a task she had to perform by hand in the past. She is also able to experiment much more with her designs and ideas, compared to when she had to pay for each individual print through her service bureau, which is evident by the fact that the top selling piece within her collection is a stacking ring that is currently available in over 100,000 permutations.

Though she has utilized 3D printing technology in the past, as many jewelry designers have done as of late, Graham’s switch to the Form 1+ desktop printer has allowed her much more freedom to create, modify, and innovate her jewelry designs in more ways then she ever thought was possible.