3D Printed Jewelry: Jewelry Manufacturing Made Efficient

3D Printing Expert

Posted on April 28 2017

3D Printing Jewelry: Why Aren't You Doing It?

 

Jewelry manufacturing has all the telltale signs of being the next industry to see a major overhaul thanks to the manufacturing unicorn that is 3D printing. One look into the current landscape of jewelry manufacturing and it’s pretty easy to see that this industry still using quite archaic methods for prototyping and most importantly for the manufacturing process.

Old Habits Die Hard

Designers, crafters, and hobbyists within the world of jewelry creation all have similar methods of production centering around a hands on or analog approach in regards to crafting and applying the finishing touches to a piece of jewelry. This can be a time-consuming method with little return on investment, with profit margins being some around 4.5% for the typical US jewelry store (ibisworld.com). Larger jewelry chains such as Tiffany’s have U.S. margins hovering somewhere around 20%. This means that 80% of the price tag on most jewelry items are allocated for the cost of production. In walks the unicorn that is 3D printing and here we stand today.

Manufacturing Upgrade

3D printing jewelry is still in its infancy, therefore, manufacturers still have quite a bit to discover regarding the process. 3D printing in the realm of jewelry manufacturing began as an answer to the expensive process that manufacturers have used for years centering around building a mold then using that to create metal versions with a blowtorch. This then evolved into utilizing 3D printing to print the actual gold or platinum.

 

Lavorato, a start-up using 3D printing to make jewelry, claims about a 40% profit margin on their jewelry according to Bloomberg in a similar article. Daniel Christian Tang, a designer for Lavorato, says that it takes about 100 hours to complete a particular jewelry design, then less than an hour to print the actual jewelry. Other manufacturers that utilize 3D printing in their jewelry production process have boasted that affordability and the ability to create one-off, unusual designs were some of the major selling factors when considering switching to the 3D printing. Some of the factors that still present a barrier of entry to this new technology center around the learning curve associated with using 3D design software. Only time will tell if 3D printing will become the go-to method of jewelry production, in the meantime stay tuned for all things 3D printing. Better yet, reach out and give us a shout, we would love to talk to you about how we can bring your jewelry business into the digital age.

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