What do you guys think of the titanium model? I think that Yanying's
design is beautiful as well as very illustrative of all the future
possibilities in 3D printing.
This jewel measures 2.6 by 2.5 by 4.9cm. It is made of titanium an this coupled with the process makes it rare and expensive. It costs about as much as an entry level MacBook. There is a lot of titanium in the world but very little 3D printed titanium. A lot of jewelery has already been made out of titanium so it should be a viable material. The process should add value since I would assume that rare=good in the jewelry business. I also personally believe that customized jewelery is a huge potential opportunity.
But..do you see yourself buying a 3D printed titanium jewel? Do you see yourself making your wedding ring on Shapeways? Or would you be more likely to buy/make a less expensive jewelery item?
In short: is there are market for high end custom made 3D printed jewelery? And is this market dependent on the material (ie titanium is good because it is a recognized jewelery material) or dependent on the process (ie I've always wanted to make something nice and affordable for my wife)?
Yes, I would definitely be interested in printing in titanium, especially as most of the models I print are jewelery (by the way silver or gold would be fine to ).
Of course price would be an issue. The way I work now with titanium is that I buy a standard basic ring wholesale, which I change into the ring shape I want.
So it would be nice to get some indication as to the costs of printing this material, to make a determination if it's worth it. A titanium ring for the price of an entry level MacBook would be too expensive and not realistic. To give an idea, the price of a standard titanium ring (ringsize 18mm, 5mm high and 1.4mm thick) is roughly 25 euro's.
You are absolutely right. I usually take between 4 to 8 hours to finish the ring. Titanium is a 'little bit' harder to handle than silver or gold. So it kind of depends on what the hourly wage would be. As being a jeweler/ ring designer is only a part time thing for me, it is pretty hard to put a price on the hours. I think that a price point at roughly 100 euro's would be realistic (25 times the price of a white 'n' flexible). Also considering (and judging from the contest winner) you can do thing that would be totally impossible to create using the 'normal' jeweler tools.
There is another side to this, one you already mentioned in the lead text. When as a designer you get comfortable with this material and the resolution it is able to provide you, you can create thing that are completely unique in the market. Titanium jewelery at the moment mainly consists of slabs or basic rings. The differentiation you see in the products is usually provided by other materials (gold, rubber, steel), because they are easier to handle and transform, or by effects on the titanium (brushed, current colored, polished). So this uniqueness would give an added value to the products if you would approach it as a business.
By the way you can color (yellow, blue etc) Titanium by running different currents through it. You can even paint on it by using electrodes. The effects are a bit '60 and '70 so I don't use them very often.
Thanks alot, guys! I can't wait for it to arrive and show it to my friends. 3d printed jewellery is something I am going to start on. (...if it is in metal, even better! I have requests for the spiral cage in metal already!)
Yanying, Your piece is designed perfectly for the material and process and the resolution is fantastic. Brilliant, and I am very envious!!
Like Steven, I would also be interested in Shapeways offering this service as this would bring together all the strands I have been working with for so long - titanium, designing for industrial processes (my jewellery in early 1990 was laser cut), 3D printing and anodising! WOW.