Anyone got 150k for a 3D printer?
The rise of 3D printing has completely reshaped the jewellery industry. I first started taking notes on this innovation back in 2015 when I saw product designer Lionel T Dean, create his jewellery collection from 3D printed 18 carat gold.
The collection was a real wake up call to the jewellery industry as 3D printing had augmented and developed designs into areas not possible by conventional means.
How is it Achieved?
As I've learned in the process of designing my own jewellery for Dion Dreyes, you have to be able to design proficiently on CAD.
Luckily I'm relatively well skilled in CAD thanks to designing my own shirts for Hawkins & Shepherd. But 3D printing has really moved the needle along in a massive way for many industries.
"The jewellery industry was one of the early adopters of additive technology, using it in an indirect sense," Dean says in an interview. "So printing waxes and casting from those waxes. It's been more reluctant to adopt direct metal processes."
If you're looking to start making jewellery yourself then be prepared to commit a lot of time and a lot of capital into the initiative. I've been quite lucky that whilst out here in Bali I've met a lot of developers and manufacturers that are excited to join me on this project.
One of the biggest advantages of 3D printing jewellery is that they can be easily edited. A 3D model can be printed as a plastic prototype first to check if the quality and design are correct. You can tweak and finesse the designs whichever 3D modelling software you are using. The final design can then be printed in the desired metal, in our case we have gone for silver.
Am I Ready to Sell my 3D Printed Jewellery Online?
Because jewellery design has become more accessible thanks to the advent of this technology, more and more people are trying their hand at launching their own brand.
For Dion Dreyes I will be implementing the same marketing strategy for my jewellery that I did for my clothing range Hawkins & Shepherd.
I'm steering clear of other e-commerce stores like Etsy or eBay. I'm maintaining premium. I want my product to be sold through my own e-commerce site which I have built on Shopify.
I will start with a limited range for economy of set up and time. You can see with the products that only when I was ready to have decent photography, a decent platform and some ready-made content was I happy to launch. The whole idea with my jewellery now is marketing. The website etc. means little if nobody knows about my product, so I'm focusing massive amounts of energy in marketing and 10-20% on the rest of the business.