3D Printing In Jewelry
I have been in Mumbai with wife and kids for the past few days on a short vacation and have been trying to get some work done as well. As part of getting myself familiar with the presence of 3D Systems in India I set up a couple of meetings with 3D Systems resellers in the city – Shree Rapid Technologies and Empire Machine Tools.
3D printing has found its way into quite a few industries, one of them being jewelry. Here are some facts about the Indian jewelry industry. India is the largest consumer of gold in the world. That amounts to nearly 700 tonnes of gold per year which is about 20% of the total consumption of gold worldwide. About 600 tonnes go into making jewelery. India also has the world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing industry. India owns 55% of the global diamond market in terms of value and 80% in terms of weight. (source)
The jewelry industry has embraced 3D printing with arms wide open. Designs are created in 3D using CAD software and then directly 3D printed to high quality production casting patterns thereby reducing or eliminating manual labor completely.
I visited one of the service bureaus in the city that built parts for jewellers. They had a 3D Systems ProJet HD 3000 Plus cranking out jewelry patterns 24×7.
The ProJet HD 3000 and HD 3000 Plus is specifically designed for fine feature applications such as investment casting of jewelry.
The days of hand made jewelry are gone or going. The jewelry industry, at least here in Mumbai, has reached a point where it cannot survive a single day without 3D printing.