My First 3D Printed Ring

by Duane W Aldrich.
(United States)

Here’s my first attempt at designing a ring using 3D CAD software.

3D Printed Ring Concept Drawing by Duane W Aldrich  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

Here’s the concept drawing that was sent to the printer.

I had a customer ask me to set a Herkimer Diamond she mined along with some Blue & White Sapphires.

After trying to make the setting several ways at the bench, I moved on to the software.

3D Printed Ring Concept Drawing by Duane W Aldrich  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

Here’s the concept drawing that was sent to the printer. Stone drawings were removed before sending.

Once I designed it I sent the STL file to a company in Belgium to be printed and cast in sterling.

The Final Ring from the 3D Printed Ring Concept Drawing by Duane W Aldrich  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

Here’s the result. Herkimer Diamonds are quartz that come to a point at both ends. As far as I know nobody normally makes settings for these stones.

It came out perfect.

The Final Ring from the 3D Printed Ring Concept Drawing by Duane W Aldrich  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

Herkimers all vary in size which makes them hard to set.

Here’s the concept drawing and the final results pics.

Duane W Aldrich
Aldrich Custom Crafts (Facebook)
Aldrich Custom Crafts (Etsy)

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Comments

  1. Duane, thanks so much for sharing this interesting computer-aided way of designing jewelry. I love Herkimer diamonds, and this ring turned out gorgeously. I bet your customer was delighted! Will you be doing more 3D CAD jewelry designing?

  2. Wow, fabulous! 3D is here to stay!

  3. Ultra-cool design and execution, Duane! There is always a way to make the magic…if we just stick with it…and employ available techniques. 3-D printing is almost like magic to me!

  4. Rena, Thank you for posting my design. My customer loves it. It was an anniversary gift from her husband and the stone is one they found on a trip together. I will definitely be designing more 3D. I’ve bought an inexpensive 3D Printer to hone my skills. My printer doesn’t print detailed enough to use for molds but is great for prototypes and to learn on. There are several companies that will take your exported STL file and print it, then create a mold and cast in just about any metal you want.

  5. Marnie & Dana, Thank you! I enjoyed making it and then the anticipation of it coming in the mail hoping all my calculations were right drives you crazy but it all worked out on the first try.
    Even though my printer is a basic one, watching it work is mesmerizing.
    To get started, download one of the free softwares out there. I use Autocad’s 123D Design. There are tons of training videos on Youtube and on the Autocad site. You don’t need a printer of your own, there are several services out there like 3Dhub with local printers that will print your design for a small fee. I used a company from Belgium called i.materialise that prints and casts your design.

  6. That is a gloriously beautiful ring. It is slightly steampunky, but also elegant, truly a one of a kind. You inspire me. My local library has a 3d printer with very inexpensive costs, but I believe it only does plastics (ab & some other initials), I do know there are some companies online that will accept your design, then you decide what material (plastic, metals, etc.) you wanted it printed in and they charge you based on your material. I think your beautiful ring has encouraged me to actually seek out these opportunities for new art jewelry.

  7. Thank you SusanD! The printer at your library will be plastic or resin. There’s mainly only the 2 types currently The plastic type will squirt melted plastic filament (PLA or ABS) like a hot glue gun. The resin type gives more detail and uses a tank of resin and a laser “cures” it as the object lifts out of the tank. My printer and probably your library’s is the plastic type. For printing a ring you need to have it printed using a special castable material. The printer will then create a mold using the print, and melt the print out of the mold (lost wax casting), then they pour the molten metal in filling the cavity creating a metal version of the print. Your library printer like mine is good to get a feel for designing and prototype your jewelry, but probably not good enough to have cast. My previous post tells the company I used. They will do the whole process for you. If you upload your design to their page, they give you a very good idea what it will cost in different materials. Go for it! The software is free and fun with lots of tutorials out there to help you learn.

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