Category Archives: Jewelry

Blueberries: 3D-Printed Jewelry that goes to Infinity and Beyond

When designer Zbyněk Krulich and jewelry maker Markéta Richterová met in 2012 during the blueberry season, their jewelry brand, Blueberries, was born. That very same year they were awarded the Czech Grand Design Award for the best jewelry of the year. Since then, this 3D-printed luxury jewelry brand based in Prague hasn’t stopped creating beautiful jewelry collections, which combine abstract geometry and natural patterns. In 2017, they launched their new collection, Infinity, and we wanted to know all about it, as well as the source of their inspiration and their passion for 3D printing. Warning: this interview can seriously inspire your 3D printing imagination!  When and why did you decide to start Blueberries? Zbyněk has been working with 3D printing since 2003 for his architectural and design work and Markéta is a jewelry maker, well-known for her experiments with non-traditional materials and technologies in this field. It was only a matter of time that we would do something together with 3D printing. The very first design for a bracelet was made in 2006 but we had to wait until 2012 to print it. In 2010 we started working with i.materialise and it was the first time that we found a producer with great quality and affordable prices. Where do you get your inspiration from? Our whole lives, we have been investigating nature and life itself. It may sound cliché but this is how it really is. We are not scientists; we are designers, but we love to learn about nature from great minds like Stuart Kauffman, Nick Lane, Albert-Lászlo Barabási or Brian Greene. So here we are, surrounded by emerging patterns, forms and shapes: this is our perception of reality and we try to incorporate these ideas into our designs. We would sum it up as a combination of abstract geometry, art and natural patterns. It’s holistic and futuristic yet gentle and on a human scale. What is your normal workflow for a new jewelry project? First we come up with a background story and an idea that is the core of the conceptualization phase. With the concept in mind, we do the first designs with a 3D software program, and we do iterations for the prototyping phase. With the prototype printed we make more iterations for the final design to get the perfect final results. The whole process also includes hand-made work and finishing, creating images, photos and other materials. We are getting a better understanding of the 3D printing technologies and how to design for 3D printing, which is crucial because we are always working on the edge of what it is possible to make with 3D printing. We were lucky that the Infinity collection was almost ready on the first attempt. We would like thank Olga Naidonova, from the Engineers Support team in i.materialise, who is always helping us with the production of our pieces. For this collection, we consulted our first designs with her and the team before sending them to the 3D printers. What is your favorite material to work with? At the moment it’s silver because it’s a very versatile material. We can easily work with it in our jewelry workshop as well. Gold-plated brass has also been a favorite of ours for a long time because it’s affordable and it looks great. In the future, we would like to work with solid gold. Which 3D modeling software do you use? We use Houdini by SideFX for design. It has a node-based workflow where you are building everything in a procedural way. Instead of moving vertices we are creating small systems to manipulate data in 3D. For the final analysis and export we use Meshmixer. What is the main advantage of using 3D printing for your designs? 3D printing has several important advantages for us. First of all, 3D printing allows the biggest freedom of design. We are not designing the exact shape but we are generating it by a simple set of rules. This is easily done on a digital platform but very time-consuming with real material. With 3D printing, you can design complex shapes and inner structures that you can then easily print. On the other hand, 3D printing is by far the best way to produce pieces with complex designs like ours. It is almost impossible to do it by hand: it will take so much effort and time to do it that you will end up with one or two pieces of art which can’t be repeated. 3D printing is the best technology for repeated items and mass customization since you can print almost any form with many variations and sizes. Finally, 3D printing is great to keep development costs down. With the rapid prototyping offered by i.materialise we started Blueberries with a small initial investment, without having to spend on technology, machines, workshop or expensive molds. What inspired you for the designs of your new collection Infinity? The latest Infinity jewelry collection is based on the concepts of a never-ending process, repetition and non-definiteness. The jewelry in this collection reflects the shape of the Möbius band, fractals and tessellation, perfectly representing our notion of infinity. The collection is deliberately futuristic but at the same time classical or even old-fashioned, showing the way we cope with infinity, time, and a continuous process. All Blueberries’ collections are based on precise geometry that grows from irregular foundations, and this is most pronounced in the Infinity collection. At first sight, the individual pieces of our jewelry seem to have been composed of repeating patterns, but when examining them closer, one can find details that look different: similarly to the way it is in the Universe or in nature. After all, the universe and its vast scale have been a great inspiration for our collection, even though the Infinity jewelry looks gentle and on a human scale. The Infinity collection includes fine small-sized earrings for everyday use, as well as pieces designed for special occasions. It is available in different materials and finishes such

Side Hustle: Working Mom Puts Laser Cut Jewelry To Work For Her

Insights From Etsy Seller Cottage On The Cliff On Being A Maker, Channeling Creativity & Growing A Small Business

Liz Ulbin is like many makers out there. In fact, if you’re a working mom and into jewelry, she may be just like you.

By day, Liz helps small businesses succeed through her work as an email developer for Waltham, Massachusetts-based Constant Contact. By nights and weekends, she works on her own small business success as a jewelry designer for her company Cottage On The Cliff.

The post Side Hustle: Working Mom Puts Laser Cut Jewelry To Work For Her appeared first on Ponoko.

Message in a Key: A 3D Printing Kickstarter Campaign

What has been the most important sound of your life? Which sentence do you want to remember forever? Maybe the heartbeat of your children or a beloved person saying “I love you”? With this idea in mind, 3D designer Lisa Kläver created Miaw, a Kickstarter project focused on designing unique jewelry pieces. Miaw means “Message in a Wave” and the idea behind it is to transform a sound or a voice into a unique gift that you can take everywhere with you: a key. To do that, Lisa Kläver joined her 3D design skills with the potential of Kickstarter and the 3D printing services of i.materialise. How does Miaw work? Send a four-second recording of a voice or sound The message is transformed into a sound wave and used to design a key Choose the material you prefer for your key: stainless steel, bronze, 14k gold plating, silver or 18k gold Choose the size of the ring: 46 mm, 65mm or 75mm Add up to 5 characters which can be embossed on the top of the key The designed key will be printed and delivered by i.materialise A special 3D-printed gift for your loved ones Lisa got introduced to 3D printing while studying product design in Amsterdam, where she learned that “every design should represent you as a person”. Nowadays, she works as a 3D designer and helps many customers to get their ideas onto the market, staying true to herself but without losing the original idea of the client at the same time. She has also created many personal gifts for the loved ones of her customers and she was intrigued by their motivation to create a personalized present. Inspired by the notion that every person is unique and every gift should be as well, she decided to create jewelry that represents a bond or situation in someone’s life. Lisa tells us more about the inspiration behind the project: “Everybody has this moment they wish to last forever, to be reminded of and carry with them every day. It can be the first cry or heartbeat of a baby. A special giggle or the way someone says ‘I love you’”. According to Kläver, sound waves in a key are the best way of using and transforming information to achieve a beautiful outcome. What is more, with the characters placed at the top of the key, the outcome is always special and relevant. The perfect partnership for a creative project Kläver is also not new to Kickstarter, as she has helped many customers start campaigns on the platform with new product ideas. When Kickstarter recently launched Commissions, she knew it was her moment to present a project. The idea behind Commissions is to involve the backers in the creative process of the creators and use their input for inspiration. Lisa chose 3D printing because it’s the best way to make one-offs and it enables her to create a project that can both use different metals and allow her to design the keys efficiently. The outcome is reliable and perfect for her design idea. “The setup of Local Makers, Kickstarter and a company like Materialise, offers great opportunities to scale up amazing ideas quickly. It’s exactly what we strive for: great ideas, amazing design, quick, efficient rapid prototyping and reliable production. It helps us a lot in our product development process to have a reliable partner we can go to and get high-quality prints in metals”, explains Lisa about this cooperation. A 3D designer at work For her creations, the German designer uses mostly 3D software program Rhinoceros because it suits her way of designing best. She also uses 2D design programs like Illustrator and InDesign as part of the creation process, although she is very clear in her approach to design and creative thinking: “Nothing beats pen and paper and a hands-on approach to test, research and get a real feel for form and function. So still, every day I get my hands dirty. I sketch, I paint, I sculpt, I 3D print, I laser cut and most of all: I question. I think that is the most important tool to design. My tool in every project is my questioning mind and the need to always be better.” 3D printing enables Lisa to test and very quickly realize all her ideas, as well as helping her to design better and faster. She uses 3D printing as a quick rapid prototyping tool as well as an actual production method. “I think 3D printers are my third creative, very precise arm!” Read more about the Miaw campaign and back it on the Kickstarter website. The Commissions on Kickstarter are only on until the 30th of November. Lisa Kläver is not the only designer creating extraordinary pieces with 3D printing. Read more profiles about 3D creators on our blog. Discover the possibilities of 3D printing with i.materialise for yourself by uploading your models to our online platform. Note: This project is a creative approach to 3D design and it has an artistic purpose. However, it is completely prohibited to 3D print functional keys on i.materialise.  

How to Improve Your Creative Business with 3D Printing

If you are a designer, jeweler or creative mind starting your own company, you’ll probably have heard about 3D printing. You might even have thought about introducing it to your company or creative project but you still don’t know where to start or how it can actually improve your business. If that is the case, we have some good news for you: it’s easier than you think and well worth your while! To start with, you don’t even need to own a 3D printer or be an expert in 3D design to discover and enjoy the many advantages that this technology can offer for your business. 3D printing can be a game-changer for creative businesses and we have listed all the aspects in which it can benefit creative companies. Easier prototyping and product development Businesses focused on design and product development can greatly benefit from 3D printing during their prototyping process. Turning your design into a tangible object to see how it looks and feels is the best way to detect problems and decide if it needs improvement. As you can read in this interview, prototyping is very important in the first stages of product development and it’s the best way to improve your design ideas. 3D printing can be a cost-effective alternative to external prototyping services. What’s more, using a cutting-edge technology like 3D printing can help you achieve the highest precision for your models. Cost savings We can’t repeat this enough: to 3D print you don’t have to own the technology. You can easily upload your orders on our platform and get professional 3D prints delivered to your door. This process will save you from making big investments in technology. What is more, you can print short runs of a product without needing to set up a whole process for it, which can be a great way to economize. When you produce with 3D printing there is no surplus or scrap, which means less material waste and therefore less costs. You can follow our tips to make your 3D designs even more affordable to get the best price-quality ratio for your 3D print. 3D printing is also a good way to avoid dormant stock because you can print on demand, depending on your needs and orders, so you don’t end up with an excess amount of products to sell. Another advantage when printing with i.materialise is that you can upload your model and get an instant quote for your 3D-printed models, which is a great way to calculate costs beforehand. Another costly moment for creative businesses can be opening your own shop to sell your products. Did you know that with i.materialise you can open an online shop on our platform and sell your 3D-printed products from our website? It’s an easy way to put yourself on the map and make your designs more accessible to customers. Original business promotion 3D printing can be a creative way to advertise your company. Even when you don’t use 3D printing technology to make your products or their prototypes, you can use 3D design to make your business stand out from the crowd. If you sell your project as a creative solution, the best way to show how innovative and inspiring your brand can be is by being original with your advertising and branding. For example, you can think of original promotion items to distribute, print your very own signage and merchandise, personalize the packaging or even think of original business cards. You can also print cabinets, supports and other displays to adapt your product for your shop or markets. Saving time When you have a small creative business, you have to look after many things besides the creation of your products: marketing, accounting, logistics, etc. 3D printing won’t do your taxes for you, but it can help you save some time so you can use your extra hours to do what really matters. For example, 3D printing has a shorter lead time than other technologies. It’s much easier and faster to use a 3D printing bureau than to set up a production line to manufacture your designs. 3D design is also a very good way of speeding things up when you are working on your creations. As with many creative processes, 3D design can seem intricate at first, but there are some crucial points you should be aware of which can help you avoid mistakes in your designs. Once you have detected and mastered these concepts, your 3D files will be ready to print even faster: read more on this article about preparing files for 3D printing. In the event that your files contain errors or aren’t ready to print, we detect these errors before printing and let you know you need to correct the file so you don’t waste time and money. In this way, you can easily get high-quality and professional 3D prints while investing more time on your creative projects and growing your company. Watch how 3D printing is helping designer Elise Luttik save time. Creative freedom As you can see, 3D printing has many practical advantages but the foundation of an artistic business is the originality and quality of the designs. 3D printing can fuel creativity to a great extent and help entrepreneurs get even more creative with their projects. 3D design can be the key to differentiate your business from other companies. You can experiment with many different materials, finishes and colors to make your creations more appealing and original. You’ll be sure to learn quickly about the different 3D printing technologies and have fun playing around with so many possibilities! 3D design is also the best option to create complex designs, allowing you to go even further with your creations. Another great option that 3D printing offers is to easily customize your products to meet the needs and taste of different customers: go from the concept to the printed object in the blink of an eye. Even if you have never used 3D technologies

3D Print in Silver Now at a Lower Price

All that glitters is not gold…because today we’re focusing on silver! This is one of the materials you can use to 3D print your ideas, and is one of the most beloved metals for jewelry designs. And from now on, you can bring your design to life in silver at an even better price, especially on high-volume orders for 3D printing in silver. With this better reduction, the more copies you order of the same model, the lower the price per unit will be. This is not a temporary discount, but a permanent price drop that’s even more remarkable for orders of 10 prints or more of the same model. Ideal for jewelry designers The exact reduction will vary for each model, according to its finish, size and weight. While all orders might receive a discount, bigger orders of the same model, especially small pieces, might benefit more. That’s why this new price is a great opportunity for jewelry designers and business owners who want to 3D print their creations. To know exactly how much your order will cost, upload your model to our platform and choose how many you want to print. It’s that easy! Let’s test this out with a ring that we would like to print with a high-gloss finish. The price for one ring is €45.90, but the price per ring drops to €41.80when we print 10. Let’s see what happens if we want to print even more rings. The unit price decreases even more if we print 100 pieces. So, the more pieces you order, the higher will be the discount. As you can see on the next screenshot, ordering more than 100 pieces is where the discount really kicks in, with a 16% reduction from the original price per unit. One metal, five finishes In case you need even more reasons to love silver, we can tell you that it is the perfect metal to get creative. We have five different finishes available for silver, which means you have lots of options to get the look you want for your 3D designs. Gloss: a shiny look with a high-level of detail. The surfaces are left uneven and smooth. For this finish, silver models are post-processed in a magnetic tumbler. High-gloss: the most smooth and shiny finish. Thanks to hand-polishing after printing, the model has less detailed, but more sparkle. Antique: a distressed look to make the object appear aged. After an oxidation process, the elevated surfaces are polished by hand to make each piece unique. The surface is left with darker and dimmer tones. Satin: a duller finish that is treated with a wire brush to give models an effect of super-fine lines on the surface. Sandblasted: for a smooth, matt look This price reduction is a good reason to start using 3D printing for your jewelry business, a smart option for jewelry artists and designers. Check out these outstanding silver 3D prints to get inspiration for your designs. If you’re new to 3D printing jewelry, carefully read our Design Guides to get the best print possible. We also shared some ideas about the best software for 3D modeling jewelry designs for those looking for the perfect match for their creative process. When your designs are ready, all you need to do is upload your models to get an excellent price for 3D-printed jewelry. Featured image: Running Rabbit Ring by Vulcan Jewelry. High gloss finish. © Agnes Fong   

4 Ideas To Make With New Pastel Acrylics

New Materials In USA Catalog: Pink, Cream & Aqua Acrylics

Pastel colors aren’t just for spring parties and Easter celebrations. These soft, muted colors are popping up everywhere from New York Fashion Week runways to London’s chic catwalks. In fact, the romantic shades appeared at nearly every UK show, according to WWD, most notably J.W. Anderson, Peter Pilotto and Emilia Wickstead.

And it’s not just haute couture playing with pastels. LeBron James added “pastel pink” and “mint green” to his exclusive line of Nike kicks.

The post 4 Ideas To Make With New Pastel Acrylics appeared first on Ponoko.

Stories behind 3D Printing: Meet Jewelry Designer Noah Hähnel

From growing up in the German countryside to living in China, Noah Hähnel’s inspiring story is the focus of today’s blog post. This young designer will explain the highlights of his experience with 3D printing and will give some tips for 3D-printed jewelry beginners. How did you start designing jewelry and what was the first design you ever created? Ever since I was a little kid, I loved to create and early on I discovered my passion for films. Through films, I also got interested in visual effects and that made me want to learn 3D modeling. With 3D modeling, I discovered 3D printing, which gave me the opportunity to turn my ideas into something physical you can hold and feel. My first ever design for jewelry was a simple pendant with two arcs in it that I made as a present for a relative and printed it in stainless steel. She loved it and friends of her asked me to do more. Like every designer, I live for approval and attention. In 2013, when I was just 14, I tried my luck at a competition by i.materialise where you had to design a traditional Japanese hair piece. I made it to the 10 best designs and the piece was shown in Tokyo. That’s when I got the idea to sell jewelry. Even though my passion still lies in filmmaking and becoming a director, I continue to create jewelry that can be worn by a broad audience. I can put my ideas and stories inside them, just like with movies. Where did you get your inspiration for your latest project, the Garden Collection? This collection consists out of five new designs and it was inspired by an idea for a short film, about a mystical part of a forest that never has been touched by mankind. One ring, for instance, is made of vines that grow around your body. Also, I am in love with nature. I grew up in a rural area in Germany. We had horses, cats and dogs, and we are surrounded by cows and forest. That is why I often use nature in my designs.  What is your design workflow for a new project?  My workflow is mostly spontaneous. I do not tell myself: “I need to get new designs every week”. I design when I feel inspired, or someone asks me for a piece. Sometimes I draw the basic model on paper, even though I can’t draw at all, but as long as I can see what it’s supposed to be it is fine. But most of the time I just start on my computer with an idea and see how it develops. For example, the idea for the Garden Ring came from a short film idea of mine. I first started by designing vines and several flowers. After that, I thought about where to use it. I often design something first and then see what kind of jewelry it should be used on. After I have finished designing, and have exported and double-checked that no triangle is missing and no sizes were changed during the export process, I finally hit “Order”. I am in love with nature. I grew up in a rural area in Germany. That is why I often use nature in my designs. Which 3D modeling software do you use for jewelry? I design with Cinema 4D. I started using it when I was twelve. Later I noticed that many German companies I was a trainee for used it too, which was helpful. I think it is a really powerful and user-friendly program that developed from a pure motion graphics tool into an all-rounder, with a focus on modeling, sculpting, animation and visual effects. What is your favorite 3D printing material? My go-to material is bronze. The wax 3D printing allows for incredible small details and cheap prices. Bronze is beautiful, durable and can be changed with acids. It is also not likely to cause allergies and is affordable for most people. All of this adds to the fact that bronze looks a lot like gold, which is my favorite color. Bronze and gold have been used since ancient times and combining these with a modern technology such as 3D printing feels and looks amazing. One of my philosophies is to make something that cannot be achieved with traditional methods. I often see designs that are beautiful but very “simple” and I ask myself: why not use the full capabilities of 3D printing technology? Bronze and gold are used since ancient times and combining these with modern 3D printing feels and looks amazing. What is the most critical step in your design process in 3D? The greatest challenge for me is the export of my designs. Sometimes it takes me days to clean up a design so no triangles or walls glitch and disappear. While modeling, I do not really care about technical stuff so the exported models are as messy as my desk or thoughts. Can you give some good advice for 3D jewelry designers? I try to keep my files as editable as possible. When I started out, I finished with one completely merged object which was easier to export, but difficult to make alterations on after completion, like changing wall thickness, or the size of certain details. As an example, the flowers of the Garden Ring might be printable now, but if I scale down the whole model to a smaller size they might become too small to print. So I only scale down the vines to achieve a smaller ring size. This technique also allows me to only change small details for each customer and thereby make the object a little more unique. Furthermore, I can increase the ring size without increasing the bounding box, which allows for cheaper prints. While modeling I do not really care about technical stuff so the exported models are as messy as my desk or thoughts. Another important thing I have learned when

Making Jewelry For Beginners

An Introduction To Jewelry Making

Jewelry. Humans have been adorning themselves with it for thousands of years. In fact, jewelry is one of the oldest types of archaeological artifacts, with 100,000-year-old beads made from Nassarius shells thought to be the oldest known jewelry. But the first signs of established jewelry making didn’t happen until around 3,000-5,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt.

Since then, much has changed, yet much has stayed the same.

The post Making Jewelry For Beginners appeared first on Ponoko.

3D Printing News Sliced Ricoh, EnvisionTEC, ITRI, Concept Laser, Autodesk, GE, EOS and more

Sliced in today’s 3D printing news digest: EnvisionTEC, ITRI, Materialise, Ricoh, Concept Laser, Autodesk, GE, Cooksongold, BMC Gioielli, EOS, ProPhotonix, Mazak, 3DCeram, 3D Matters, Model Solution …