Choose the best 3D printer for jewelry making and design to start a unique, jewelry-making business in your spare time.
- Best 3D Printer for Jewelry Making 2020 – Comparison Table
- Printing 3D Jewelry Using a 3D Printer
- FDM Filament vs. SLA Resin
- 3D Printing vs. Traditional Jewelry Making
- Examples of 3D Printed Jewelry
- Best 3D Printers for Jewelry Making
- Best 3D Printer for Jewelry Making & Casting
Today, 3D printers are quickly changing how jewelry is made. 3D technology has made it possible for anyone to design and create excellent jewelry from the comfort of their homes.
There are various benefits of using 3D printers to make jewelry at home. Perhaps the most important benefit is that you can make professional jewelry without incurring huge upfront costs. You can make jewelry to give as presents to your loved ones or sell at a profit.
Below is a review of the best 3D printers for jewelry design available on the market.
Best 3D Printer for Jewelry Making 2020 – Comparison Table
Printing 3D Jewelry Using a 3D Printer
There are two main types of 3D printing technologies: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) and Stereolithography (SLA).
If you want to print metallic jewelry, you will need a stereolithography 3D printer that uses a castable resin. The SLA 3D printer and the castable resin will create the mold where the liquid metal will be cast into form.
3D printers can be used to create various models. If you wish to sell the jewelry, you can let your customers choose the designs they want before printing the pieces.
FDM Filament vs. SLA Resin
If you want to print jewelry using a 3D printer, you will need to use either an FDM or SLA filament. Both FDM and SLA printers can create perfect jewelry molds.
FDM printers allow you to print the most designs. However, SLA printers make better jewelry designs.
FDM printers can use blended filaments. With these printers, you can use a combination of plastic and metallic filaments to produce jewelry that will look metallic. You can print your jewelry designs from a computer to your FDM printer.
SLA printers are best suitable for making intricate jewelry pieces with beautiful gem settings.
At the moment, Formlabs 3 is the best SLA printer on the market. However, if you are looking for something more affordable for jewelry making, check the Formlabs Form 2+ and the XYZprinting Nobel 1.0 printers.
3D Printing vs. Traditional Jewelry Making
Using an SLA or resin 3D printer to produce 3D designs is brilliant because it combines investment casting and home 3D printing.
The castable resin used to print the models does not stain when it liquefies during the casting process. Casting resin produces high-quality 3D printed jewelry.
The traditional way of making jewelry starts by creating a wax prototype, either manually or using a CAD machine. The equipment used limits the designs that your jewelry can be molded into. The more complex your design is, the higher the cost of the wax would be.
After building the wax prototype, a 3D printer can be used in the production proces. With a 3D printer, it is easier, cheaper, and faster to make complex jewelry designs.
After the 3D printer has finished its job, the resin mold has to be poured in a plaster mold to create the jewelry you want. You can do the casting on your own or hire a casting company to do it for you. A typical casting job costs around 5 bucks.
Why Use 3D Printers for Jewelry Making
Using 3D printers to make jewelry is beneficial in various ways, including:
a) Make a wide variety of excellent designs
3D printers can make cheap and unique designs. As you improve your printing skills, you can make more complex designs.
With the printers, all you have to worry about is designing the jewelry rather than whether your designs can come to life.
b) Create jewelry models
You can use 3D printers to create affordable plastic models of the final design. Therefore, you can make unique jewelry designs for your customer to approve before printing the final metal jewelry.
3D printing jewelry is faster than traditional jewelry production. Even complicated designs can are finished fast. You can also change the completed parts.
Printing jewelry using a 3D printer is affordable than using traditional machines.
Making jewelry requires a very small amount of resin. 1 liter of castable resin is approximately $100. However, you won’t need the whole amount for a single piece of jewelry. You only pay for what you use. 1 liter is more than enough to print multiple pieces of jewelry.
How simple or complicated your design is does not affect the cost of printing 3D jewelry pieces. It is the resin quantity that affects the price.
Make Money with 3D Printed Jewelry
You can make money from 3D printing jewelry because you can give clients the exact design they want.
3D printers that can make casting molds cost just over $1000. After buying a 3D printer for jewelry making, you will start recouping your investment as the price of printing is extremely low compared to the price of the printed jewelry.
With 3D printing, there is no difference in the price of printing a single piece or fifty pieces of jewelry. This eliminates the need to keep stock. You will only have to produce jewelry when they are ordered.
Examples of 3D Printed Jewelry
Below are examples of jewelry designs created using 3D printers:
Best 3D Printers for Jewelry Making
The Ultimaker 2+ is a Fused Deposition Modeling 3D printer. Instead of making a liquefied resin strong, the printer fires up a hard plastic filament to create the design.
FDM 3D printers are not as precise as SLA ones. However, the Ultimaker 2+ can make designs that can compete with those made by an SLA printer.
The Ultimaker 2+ can create 3D jewelry using Moldlay Filament and some unique wax filaments. The filaments are made solely for investment casting using the ëLost waxí technique. Therefore, they are excellent for creating molds for most metal 3D jewelry.
Why Use FDM 3D Printers for Jewelry Casting
a) Detailed Designs
A Fused Deposition Modeling printer, like the Ultimaker 2+, can print detailed designs up to 20 microns. The Ultimaker 2+ is a great choice if your jewelry pieces don’t have many fine features. This is a high-resolution 3D printer that can also be used to make 3D models. For example, you can make 3D jewelry prints quickly to present to your clients and let them decide what they want before the final design is created.
b) Blended Filaments
With the Ultimaker 2+ printer, you can print 3D jewelry using different types of filaments. For example, you can use plastics blended with metallic and wooden substances.
Blended filaments produce high quality, shiny jewelry that has similar characteristics and lustre exhibited by brass, silver, copper, and other metals.
Exotic filaments are a great choice if you want to create contemporary jewelry from materials like carbon fiber or bamboo.
c) Easy to Operate
The Ultimaker 2+ is not difficult to learn or operate. The improved Ultimaker 2+ version allows you to easily print CAD jewelry designs to finished products.
3D printers have are quickly changing the jewelry industry. If you are looking for a 3D printer for jewelry making, make sure it can replicate traditional techniques such as casting.
The Ultimaker 2+ is the best 3D printer for jewelry casting but can also do more. For example, you can use exotic blended filaments to print unique designs with a computer. This 3D printer enables you to create designs that would be difficult to make using traditional jewelry casting techniques.Available on Amazon.com
#2. Formlabs Form 2
The Form 2 printer is a high-quality printer that can do what industrial SLA printers can. The only difference is that with the Form 2, you can only create miniature jewelry and 3D models.
The Form 2 is one of the best SLA printers. Its previous version, the Form 1+, laid the foundation for the simple and affordable domestic printing. The Form 2 is significantly improved to make SLA printing at home a reality.
Best 3D Printer for Jewelry Casting
With the Formlabs printer, you do not have to go through a difficult process of resin printing, like is the case with other SLA or resin 3D printers. Filling the resin into the printer is done automatically. This is easier than what is required of the FFF printers.
Filling the resin is all a matter of putting an airtight cartridge at the rear of the printer. The printer will receive information from a small chip on the cartridge about the type and quantity of resin that is remaining. If the remaining resin will not be sufficient to finish the build work, you will be informed.
The Form 2 Printer also has other improved features. For example, there is a wiper system that clears the gunk that remains after a layer is deposited. This makes the printer to function properly. This feature is usually found in industrial 3D printers. Therefore, it’s impressive to see it in a home 3D printer like the Form 2.
The temperature of the resin chamber is raised to make it suitable for SLA printing. Most SLA 3D printers lack this feature.
To have a reliable SLA printing session, it is important for the environmental conditions to be stable.
Ease of Use
Formlabs comes with its PreForm software that is very effective. You only have to set the resolution based on how you want the build (between 0.025mm to 0.1mm), and PreForm will do the rest.
To begin printing, the prototype will be rotated until it gets to the best position. After this, the software will add support structures that will hold your model while it’s being printed. The support structures ensure the model maintains its shape and does not fall during printing.
The reinforcements are thin where they join your model. After printing, you can trim them off from your part and remove any blemishes left.
PreForm will indicate how long it would take for your build based on the settings you have chosen. You can change the settings to fit your requirements.
3D Printing Jewelry with Form 2 Labs
Printing 3D jewelry with Form 2 Labs is very easy. All you have to do is to fill the resin cartridge, put the resin tray in place, and clip the wiper blade down. As you do this, the screen will be showing whether you are doing things correctly. You will also be notified if the printer is not even. In this case, check the information on the screen to know how to adjust the printer to make it even.
The next step is to send your print file to the printer. This can be done through a wireless connection, memory card, or a network cable. The screen will show the queued tasks, which is ideal if you have multiple jobs to print.
You don’t have to remember the names of the print files as each file is shown as a picture on the screen.
To print, push the print button for the tank to be filled with resin. The resin inside the tank will be heated to 30 degrees Celsius and mixed with the wiper arm before printing starts.
You can configure the software to notify you through email or SMS when your models have finished printing. This feature makes the printer suitable for use in a commercial setting.
The Form 2 doesn’t make a lot of sounds. The only sound you will hear is a soft one that is produced when the layers and wiper arms are in motion. The quietness makes the printer ideal for use in an office as there will be fewer disturbances.
Formlabs have worked hard to make the post-processing of the SLA printer very simple. With resin printing, the parts have to be cleared of resin that is not cured before they can be used.
Formlabs has made removal of the uncured resin easy through its tools that solve common problems. If you use the correct tools such as liquid baths, removers, grips, and stands, the procedure will be smooth.
To remove your finished part from the build platform, you need to use a holding clip. The clip holds the platform and makes the removal simple.
There is also a cleaning station that comprises of two rinsing containers held in a stand. The station is useful for lifting parts to and from them.
You can use the gripping tool to place the parts into the first tub, turn it around, and let it soak for about 20 minutes. After that, a quick dunk of the part in the second tub will make it neat and ready for finishing.
Formlabs also has snips that you can use to break off the build supports. While this can be inconveniencing, your 3D printed jewelry will come out looking excellent
Using a 3D printer to make jewelry is more efficient than going the traditional route of using a wax model for jewelry making.
The Form 3D printer is exciting and produces high-quality 3D printed jewelry. The 3D printer is affordable and makes printing resin parts very simple.
The Form 2 printer can make elaborate design jewelry repeatedly without difficulty. Its simplicity makes jewelry casting easy.
Formlabs also has comprehensive instructions on setting up and using the printer. There is also an active online community forum where you can get more information.Available on Amazon.com
Note: The Nobel 1.0A is an upgraded and a better model of the Nobel 1.0.
The Nobel 1.0 was popular because it was a cheap SLA printer. In terms of performance, the printer got mixed reviews. Some people loved it and thought it was a good while others complained that it was not reliable.
The new upgrade has been praised, most likely because of the enhancements made.
The laser-precision of the SLA 3D printer has been improved from 300 to 130-micron accuracy. The software has also been upgraded with better visuals, which makes slicing simpler. Other improvements include build support generation, faster orientation, and faster printing speeds.
The resin can be verified and increased by the printer without human intervention. Therefore, the process is clean and smooth.
Just like Noble 1.0, the build size of Noble 1.0A is bigger than that of Form 2, measuring 5″ x 5″ x 7.8″. This size is more than enough for printing jewelry.
With the improvements that are evident in the new model, the printer is a winner at the price. Most customers have given good reviews of the Nobel 1.0A printer.
Affordable SLA Printer
The Nobel 1.0A goes head-to-head with the Form 2 in terms of quality. Its cheap price is one of the reasons many people are buying it.
The Form 2 printer is three times the price of the Nobel 1.0A. The price of Form 2 is high because it produces great quality 3D printed jewelry
Advantages of Form 2 over the Nobel 1.0A
Form 2 prints more elaborate models than the Nobel 1.0. The parts printed by the Nobel 1.0A have build lines and finer details may not be printed. For instance, if your model has tiny holes, they could end up getting filled. In such a case, you will have to rectify the part manually.
Some people have no problems with the new Nobel printer. They find it reliable and simple to operate. Other people have problems with the printer with regards to reliability and being unable to operate it.
Formlabs has a better community and support than XYZ. There are not many XYZ online communities where you can get information and assistance. Still, you shouldn’t be wary of buying the printer. You can get support from these communities:
The printer also comes with a great handbook with operational instructions.
The Nobel 1.0A has fixed all the problems the previous version had. The printer is reliable and simple to operate, which makes it the best affordable resin printer.
The Nobel 1.0A printer is the most affordable SLA printer on the market. This printer is easy to operate and creates excellent jewelry models.Available on Amazon.com
Best 3D Printer for Jewelry Making & Casting
To print jewelry, you need a printer that can get the best detail from 0.1mm and above. Using the right equipment will help to improve your creative skills and perfecting your designing abilities. You can begin your journey to making and designing jewelry with any of the printers reviewed in this article.
The Ultimaker 2+ printer is a great option if you want to expand your design style.
To get beautiful and elaborate designs, you need the Formlabs Form 2.
For an affordable option, you can get the XYZ Noble 1.0A printer.
Using the Ultimaker 2+ and the Formlabs Form 2 printers is an exciting experience.
The above are the best 3D printers for jewelry making.