Recently, I had the opportunity to test out Shapeways silver 3D printing service. I have used Shapeways before for a number of projects but mostly for just doing a quick print, never for a final product. A while back I had designed a piece using Zbrush my new favorite organic modeler. I had a versions of this model that I made as a bracelet and now I have made it into a ring. It is interesting to see how it translates. It is magical/scary how you can just wave your mouse and the bracelet is now a ring. I can remember many many critiques where someone would hold up a piece and say "You should make this into a ring"
The model is first printed in wax and then cast. Apparently this is the same way that class rings are made now and most production jewelry (Tiffany's etc) I am shocked at how well this works. I was very skeptical. I thought that it wouldn't be quite what I wanted or it would have some pitting or something. It is perfect! I love it and and I have three more on the way. Each one different to test how well this process works. The first is this ring and the others are brooch backs that have built in catches and pin stems. I would HIGHLY recommend you all try it. I will report all of my findings on the blog. Back to work and the tool room make over.