We've all heard the adage that distance makes the heart grow fonder, but it also seems to inspire creativity. Shapeways community member Alec Cox shared his story of designing and 3D printing his wedding ring on Shapeways, and the back story is even more romantic.
Ladies, brace yourself. Gents, take notes.
Designing the rings
[Caitlin and I] went to the same high school but have gone to different colleges (she goes to MIT, I go to a school in Ohio) for undergraduate, so 3D printing has given me the ability to create our rings where distance has taken away the traditional ritual of shopping for rings together. While I initially tried to smelt the rings myself, this resulted in a pile of useless silver slag and a whole heap of danger concerning oxy-acetylene torches.
So, while I have no experience at all with smelting metal, I have a little experience with the 3D modeling program Blender.
This let me add the amount of personalization to our rings that we
wanted while keeping the price-point down (you know how crazy expensive
wedding bands get). While I kept my wedding ring a simple toroid scaled
in the z axis (with not that many faces), I added a ton of resolution to
her ring so that I could use the sculpt tool in Blender to write a line
from a Beatles song on the inside (a mutual love of the Beatles is part
of the reason we started dating).
The quote in the ring is "Love you forever and forever" from the song "I Will."
When we first started going out, I had only read 1984 and she had only read Brave New World,
so one of the first things we did was exchange those books with each
other. To propose, I bought new copies of those books, clamped them
together, and then carved a heart into their exposed page edges. Then I
opened up Brave New World to the back...and cut a hole in the pages where I hid the ring inside the book.
I proposed to her [on] a trip of mine up to MIT to see her. When I
gave her the present, she had no idea that it had the ring inside, and
she started flipping through the book after she told me how much she
liked the carving on the front. Then the wooden prototype ring fell out
when she got to the back, and I proposed. After that, I showed her the
ring I designed for her on Shapeways and she was super excited that I
designed it with Blender and that I personalized it.
I had ordered her ring too late for it to have any hope of getting
there while I was there, so I went ahead and proposed with a wooden
prototype I used for sizing. However, her ring arrived on the last day
of my trip, so I was able to see her wear it before I had to fly home.
3D printing allows people to make personal and meaningful products. Without it I wouldn't have hoped to make our wedding rings myself.
Thanks for sharing Alec! It's an inspiring story, and we're so happy to be a part of it.
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