Those of you who know me, know that I can get very excited about new technology—particularly if I can imagine how it might be used to make my art. A few weeks ago, I posted a link on my Anita Mills Design Facebook page for a company named Shapeways that does 3-D printing of designs that one can upload to their site. I decided to take the leap into 3-D printing by having them print some jewelry components for me in plastic. Maybe there are folks who could do this for me locally, but I liked the convenience and technical support I got from Shapeways.
For this purpose I went searching for an image, among hundreds that I have created for use in 2-D work, and settled on this simple “stick and ball” design in black and white.
Then, I uploaded the image to their 3-D production program and selected overall size and depth—30mm x 2mm. The program checks your design for possible weak spots, and allows for adjustment before you order. I made the adjustments, chose colors and the number of units I wanted, paid my fees, waited two weeks, and voila!!
Here are components in black and purple compared to a US quarter for size comparison.
Here are another couple of views to give you an idea of their depth:
Now, my mind is spinning with ideas for ways to connect these components to jewelry findings—ear wires, posts, etc. Or how to connect them together to make brooches, bracelets or necklaces:
As you might guess, these are NOT the only designs I submitted that day for 3-D printing.There are some larger designs of a different pattern, as well as a design that I’ve requested to be printed in polished sterling silver. But… you’ll just have to stay tuned to see what comes next from my Shapeways account!