Making jewelry using 3D printing is a rewarding project regardless of whether you’re just starting out or are running a business.
Then you click and a piece of fine jewelry magically appears – like alchemy!
Your dream has become a reality at this point. In this tutorial, we’ll explore some of the different printers available to you, and then we’ll get into some jewelry-making basics, so you’ll be ready to print your first piece of jewelry.
1. Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K – Our Choice
When you need exceptional print quality without breaking the bank, the Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K is the answer.
We found the Anycubic Photon S’ printing quality superior to that of the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro’s, which was an affordable resin 3D printer. Mini 4K has a 35 micron XY layer resolution in comparison to both of those printers’ 50 microns.
A 4K television or phone screen produces a high-quality image, as you may already know. Additionally, you will have a better print resolution with the Mini 4K thanks to its 4K LCD screen.
Despite the differences between prints from the three printers, the differences between prints were barely noticeable. A 4K LCD’s power becomes evident in jewelry with intricate details.
Several newer models of the Photon and Mars printers are also printing faster – one layer in two seconds (although the Sonic Mini 4K is also faster).
With the Mini 4K, you can create jewelry made of resin with a 3D printer that is beginner-friendly. The process is so simple. The printer plugs in and levels, then you can begin printing. You’ll need to tweak the settings for certain designs, but Chitubox’s default settings work without any changes.
Compared to the original Sonic Mini 4K, the Sonic Mini 4K is noisier. Mini’s Z-axis stepper motor is what makes most of the noise during layer changes.
With the Sonic Mini 4K, you won’t go wrong when printing jewelry or miniatures. It excels where a high degree of detail is important.
- Fine details are printed at exceptional quality
- The bed can be easily leveled
- Tough as nails
- Very responsive touch screen
- Suitable for beginners
- Large print areas may require flexing of the arm on the build plate
- Screens are easily damaged
2. Formlabs Form 2 – Best High-End
The Formlabs Form 2 fulfills its promise. This SLA 3D printer will help you accomplish everything on your to-do list. If you are willing to swallow the price tag, you will be rewarded with accuracy and ease of use in no time.
Jewelry 3D printing shouldn’t be a problem with the 115 x 65 x 155 mm build volume. Seeing as this is a desktop 3D printer, it’s a great unit. There’s no need to worry about space since you can stack these beauties on your desk to start your jewelry empire. Or, you can always hide your new hobby from your spouse.
In addition to printing quietly, the Form 2 system can be placed in your bedroom or office without disturbing you.
We don’t live under a rock either, the Formlabs folks. As a result of the need for wax-casting resin, they developed a special SLA resin to be used in jewelry printing. Their inventory of other resins is amazing, and you can use them for a wide variety of different projects.
Having an established company, their auxiliary programs are of a high quality and incredibly easy to use. Plus, the printer looks like an art piece – almost futuristic.
This printer lets you print straight from the trough without having to worry about the liquid resin. All you have to do is put in a canister, and the machine will do the rest. You can even clean the print up automatically as you go by using the wiping system. Your jewelry will be exceptionally detailed and printed quickly with this device.
You can get the Form 2 if you want the best jewelry 3D printer.
- Setup and use are both very simple
- A great piece of software
- Attractive curb appeal
- Exceptional accuracy
- The resin can be loaded easily
- It operates very quietly
- All prints must be post-processed
3. Peopoly Moai – Best Value Resin
As a logical next printer on the list, the Peopoly Moai should be examined. Enjoy all the features of SLA 3D printers at an attractive price.
Similarly to the Form 2, it is extremely accurate, very quiet, and easy to use. Using a resin bath also makes it very simple to use. There are a few differences between this machine and the traditional machine, including that the resin is much less expensive. Moai also comes with the benefit of allowing third-party resin!
Compared to the Formlabs’ 3D printer, this device is not polished or sophisticated, but it is also not a slouch either. The device is able to produce accurate and precise models at a reasonable cost. Beginners with good budgets should consider Peopoly’s Moai resin 3D printer. You can also experiment and tinker with it without worry.
It’s open-source, and it’s compatible with third-party resins, so there’s a lot of room for experimentation.
Compared to other jewelry 3D printers, the Moai is especially friendly for beginners, limit-testers, and experimenters.
- Resins from 3rd parties are accepted
- Assembled robustly
- Supporting documentation is excellent
- Value for money
- Suitable for beginners
- The product needs to be assembled
- Sometimes, printing is messy
4. Anycubic Photon – Best Budget SLA
There’s a budget SLA 3D printer out there, did you know? We’ve been talking about resin 3D printing, but did you know it’s an intricacy and costs associated with it? Using a SLA printer, you can create your first jewelry 3D model for a couple hundred dollars.
Do not be fooled by the name Anycubic Photon, since it is not cheap. Despite its low price, you also get excellent quality.
FDM printers cannot achieve better results.
Specifically, 25 microns. You can use it less and it takes up less table space. It isn’t important to care about build volume when printing jewelry, but you should consider it.
With the Photon S, you’ll experience fewer vibrations because it has dual-linear rails. The result of this is that prints will be more reliable and precision will be higher (reduces “Z-wobble,” which can cause strange lines in prints, although I never had any trouble with it on the original Photon).
This is also a safer method to work with because the fumes are fewer. Although it costs $100 more than the Photon, the touchscreen and better Z-axis may be worth it.
As a result, the SLA printer on our list does not come with the built-in safety features that the other devices do. This means that creating objects using resin is indeed dangerous. Ensure that you have the necessary safety equipment (nitrile gloves, an air purifier, 99% isopropyl alcohol, etc.) before you begin setup and cleaning. Getting your hands dirty and having your patience tested is all part of the setup and cleaning process for this printer.
This unit is very affordable. Certain precautions must be taken, and each step of the process requires a greater amount of time. It would also be a useful exercise to get a feel for SLA printing without the extra bling. You’ll be able to appreciate your new unit more when you upgrade.
- Accurate and precise
- Dimensions are small
- Desktop computer with a true keyboard
- Hands-on approach
- Luxury automation is not available
- Building on a small scale
5. Ender 3 Pro – Best Budget FDM
Making custom jewelry is possible for a couple hundred dollars. There are no frills on the Ender 3 Pro, but it will serve you well.
In its price range, it is considered to be the best FDM 3D printer for jewelry by many, including myself. A non-resin 3D printer produces reasonably accurate prints. Easy to learn and inexpensive to use.
Another advantage of the 3D printer is its durability.
It’s a great choice for anyone who is unsure whether to invest thousands into the space, the Ender 3 Pro lets you start small and get a feel for what 3D printing is like.
Since this is an FDM 3D printer, as opposed to the rest of the ones in this list, it isn’t limited to using resins only. There’s no doubt about the fact that 3D printing isn’t the best tech for making jewelry, but you can still do many other things with it. FDM printers allow you full freedom of design.
Nevertheless, the quality of prints generated by FDM 3D printers is noticeably less precise and smooth than their resin 3D counterparts.
It is not possible to print replacements for broken parts with an SLA 3D printer.
- The price is very affordable
- Machine that is reliable
- Accuracy is good
- Possibility of producing quality prints
- Uncertainty about reliability
- The product needs to be assembled
- Occasionally, the print bed needs to be straightened
6. Solidscape S370 – Professional 3D Jewelry Printer
Lastly, Solidscape offers 3D printers. As I mentioned, it’s a professional-grade, top-of-the-line jewelry 3D printer, so it’s priced accordingly. You can expect to spend over $55,000 for it. Professionals are investing in this, not hobbyists. Let’s then examine how 3D printing jewelry can transform your business. Imagine an SLA printer with a few more powerful features. SLA 3d Printers offer the same benefits as SLA printers but without the downsides.
You don’t need to worry about mess following post-processing as we use dissolvable supports. Setup doesn’t take very long, and use is no different. A piece of jewelry is automatically waxed and cast. If you remember, a few steps are necessary between printing and having a cast made with the other SLA 3d printers. Additionally, it’s remarkably accurate. Several layers are as thin as 6 microns. A piece of hair is twelve times thinner.
Printing from Solidscape’s printer is highly repeatable and reliable; it creates pieces years after year without issues. It is fully automatic from start to finish. One touch operation is their forte.
One more touch and the wax-casting will be done. It’s an easy and convenient way to 3d print jewelry.
In light of the previous comment, let’s circle around to it. The machine is for professionals and those striving to be professionals. It is obvious that this printer will elevate your company to new heights, but you should build a company first. You should try another printer before experimenting with this one. You can test your concept and learn from the hard lessons by using a less expensive printer. This machine can be used when you need it. Unlike any other jewelry printer, it is designed specifically for making 3D jewelry.
- The accuracy is astonishing
- Produces ultra-intricate art
- Post-processing that’s mess-free
- Ensures repeatability and reliability
- Suitable for professionals
- Easily setup & operated
- A heavy investment is needed for this project
3D-printed jewelry: What’s the deal?
I just wanted to clarify that you won’t need a 3d printer to create gold jewelry. Your custom jewelry will be manufactured using a high-detail mold that you’re printing. The low-tech method of making these molds is familiar to anyone who has created jewelry the traditional way. Handcrafted or CNC-milled, they are available in two forms.
A ring is made by making a prototype of what you want the ring to be, making a mold around it, pouring in the molten metal, and then getting the ring!
With this new technology, the process is the same, but it is brought into the 21st century. A 3d printer will be used instead of a mill or handcarving. Your knowledge of hobby 3D printers means that you are on the right track. We can use some alternative 3D printing technologies, but those desktop units are just one. Other technologies might be better suited to your needs.
Process Of Jewelry 3D Printing
If you’re unfamiliar with how jewelry is 3D printed, read on.
- Designing or finding the design of the jewelry is the first step. You can find numerous models online or use a CAD program.
- Your jewelry piece is then 3D printed with resin or special wax. No, we don’t print gold this way.
- Your wax or resin jewelry will now be ready to be cast.
- Making a mold is the next step. Ultimately, a mold is made that contains your jewelry cutout.
- Your precious metal is now ready to be poured into the mold. You have now created your own jewelry! The ring looks great!
Choosing which 3d printer is right for you is the hard part. You have a few choices to start you on your journey, much like in a “choose your own adventure” book.
Alternative 3D Printing Processes
In terms of 3d printing, there are a variety of choices. These traditional 3d printers you see on the internet and in friends’ garages are called FDM/FFF printers. The process of fusing filaments together is called fused deposition modeling. This part is made by fusing hot elements together. During the molding process, layers of plastic are heated, they stick to each other, and then they are cooled and the final model is formed.
Understanding this one can be tricky. Stereolithography apparatus is SLA. A lot to take in. From a trough of liquid resin, the part is formed using lasers and science. With SLA, it is possible to make really strong pieces and to use more robust materials. In terms of jewelry, SLA is the most desirable technology, but FDM is more universal.
Pros And Cons Of Each 3D Printing Method For Making Jewelry
We’ll take a quick look at why either of these three methods of 3D printing is important now that the nerdy science talk is over.
FFF / FDM
FDM printers are extremely cost-effective when making jewelry. It is cheaper to purchase and operate than other printers. This has some downsides, however. Generally speaking, FDM printers don’t produce quality that is close to that of SLA printers – it is much worse.
You can use an FDM printer for your jewelry if you do not need a lot of fine detail. FDM is the only solution if you plan to print a lot of other products besides jewelry. It’s a lot more niche and specific to SLA 3d printers. The best printer for jewelers, costume designers, DIYers, and craftspeople is an FDM printer.
You’ll be using an SLA printer to print resin for your jewelry. In this regard, SLA printers are ideal for the job at hand. A 3D printer is more expensive up front, as well as running costs. In addition, a lot of SLA printers emit toxic resin, so you have to be cautious when operating them.
Those two points taken care of, you should get an SLA printer if you’re making jewelry yourself. How come? Exactness. This printer achieves an incredible level of accuracy. 3D printed jewelry with fine detail can only be produced by SLA. SLA printers also have a strong material base. An FDM printer’s default filament is not as strong as resin.
For the best 3d printers for making miniatures and figurines, check out our article. Here are our favorite resin 3d printers for all price ranges.
Why 3D Print Jewelry?
Therefore, we discussed how 3d printing jewelry works, and the materials they require.
You Have Complete Freedom Over The Design
Custom pieces are a great way to target niche markets. A 3D CAD program can help you design your own prints.
Pieces Can Be Made That Seem To Defy Physics
These intricate, odd-shaped pieces can be printed in 3D. The modern jewelry can benefit from this.
For Some Pieces, There Is No Alternative
The ability to make 3D objects with a 3D printer cannot be matched by traditional methods. The CNC mill isn’t a viable option for some of your physics-defying pieces.
Prototyping Is So Much Faster
In my experience, using a 3d printer yields a much faster lifecycle speed than traditional manufacturing methods. In many cases, it can take 8 hours for a 3d printer to produce a working prototype from initial concept to design to first working prototype. This progress could normally take one to two weeks using traditional manufacturing methods.
The Cost Is So Low
It is not necessary to employ machine operators, designers, and project managers. The team consists of you. A printer that works just as well can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. It’s not necessary to use $100 in raw materials, $5 is plenty to prototype. Additionally, no one has to be paid hourly to make it, you simply hit “go” and leave.
We can make any shape faster, cheaper, and more easily.
If you are thinking of making jewelry to sell your products or just as a gift for family and friends, I would be thrilled to hear how you can 3D print them. The printing process is a lot easier once you have a printer. No matter what you choose to print with your 3D printer, you will love it. The traditional method does not give you the same earnings as this one does.
Formlabs Form 2 is the best SLA machine you can purchase.
The Anycubic Photon (and Photon S) and Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K are fantastic choices for those interested in learning more about resin 3D printers. The Peopoly Moai is an excellent choice for those on the lookout for value without compromising quality.
Consider the market you can serve when choosing an FDM printer. They are not limited to 3D printing jewelry, so you have a lot of opportunities. If you are interested in expanding your business, check out Solidscape S370 printers. Getting to know your new printer is an exciting experience!