Jewelers use 3D printing to prototype custom rings

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  • Written by Iris Smeekes
    Dec 17, 2015

One of the great things about 3D printing is the freedom it gives people around the world to create whatever they want. Some print mechanical prototypes, some use it to hone architectural plans, and then you have the story of the gifted goldsmith, Paul Steenbrink, from Holland, who uses it to create beautiful prototypes of some of the most unique pieces of jewelry we’ve ever seen.

As with any jewelry, when its wearer has an emotional attachment to it, it’s significance becomes more powerful. But finding something that fits your needs and tastes perfectly can take endless searching – or potentially many expensive iterations of a design. However, through 3D printing, Paul is turning this process on its head and creating jewelry that’s personal, cost-efficient and wholly unique.

By working closely with his clients Paul creates prototypes of a ring design with his Ultimaker that can be honed time and again until he reaches the perfect design and size. This is then used as a mold to create the final ring, and importantly, Paul then finishes it using traditional craftsmanship. The result is a ring of the purest originality and craft. And a very happy client.

Paul Steenbrink #5
Paul Steenbrink #6
Paul Steenbrink #2
Paul Steenbrink #13
From design to actual ring

One such story is of a couple in New York, who had heard of his technique and were eager to have such flexibility when creating their wedding ring. Even though his client was a far away, thanks to 3D printing this wasn’t a problem. After a video consultation, he printed over 10 possible rings in different sizes and designs. Once he had their feedback he refined his designs and sent new models to them until they were happy. After the design was final, he set about creating the final ring using traditional methods. If it wasn’t for 3D printing this process simply wouldn’t be possible without incurring huge time and money costs.

Paul Steenbrink #10

And being such an original thinker, Paul pushes the boundaries of people’s expectation even further through his personal Face-To-Face rings. When you first look at one of these rings it looks like a beautiful design – but look a little harder and you’ll see that the lines on its sides are in fact the silhouette of two faces. A beautiful way for clients to show their love and connection with each other. As with the New York ring, clients are able to see several iterations to hone the final design and the size to ensure it fits as beautifully as it looks. The result is an incredible blend of traditional craftsmanship, modern technology, and creativity.

Paul is forging an innovative new path to creating unique jewelry. We can’t wait to see what he makes next.