3D printing technology now allows 3D printing in gold -or does it?
While 3D printers are not exactly printing gold, 3D printing is being used to help shape the way that gold is molded into jewelry and sold – making it possible for designers to create unique gold jewelry in shapes and designs that were never possible before.
More and more companies are making way for the process of making 3D printed gold jewelry and accessories, and Shapeways has decided that it is time to include 14 carat gold to the list of available materials as well. Since gold is the oldest known metal used in jewelry, it really was just a matter of time until gold was introduced to 3D printing.
It’s important to note though, that 3D printing in gold is actually a misnomer. You can’t feed gold “ink” into a 3D printer and watch your creation come to life, at least not yet. 3D printing in gold simply refers to the process through which 3D printing aids in the process of creating gold jewelry.
It works something like this: a model is printed in wax before it is put in a container and liquid plaster is poured around it. Once the plaster sets, the wax melts – and a plaster mold becomes available. The gold is then carefully poured into the mold and hardens, resulting in the new product. It is then cleaned and polished to perfection before being sold. This is the same process that’s currently used for other cast materials such as silver, bronze, and brass.
While not entirely 3D printed, the results of the gold jewelry that is made using the 3D technology are outstanding.