Heart 3D model. Made in Blender 3D, 3D printed at Shapeways in Sterling Silver.
Photo courtesy of my wife, Kim.

People might remember the 3D objects I’ve been working on. You can see them here and here. I finally got around to finishing up the 3D models and had them printed out in Sterling Silver with the help of the fine people at Shapeways. As far as I understand it, the process uses a lost wax casting method, but updated for the digital age. The object is printed out in a hard, wax-like substance, and a mold is placed around the printed object. Then molten silver is then injected into the mold. The wax melts away, leaving the silver in its place. The detail is quite good, but real close inspection does still reveal a few artifacts, revealing it’s digital beginnings. I’m not certain whether that’s a restraint on the printing process or the limit of detail that Shapeways puts onto the models you can upload for print. Since Shapeways get files from all over the world to print out, they put a limit on file size (ultimately affecting detail of the model).

All-in-all, I am very happy with how they turned out. I am not a jeweller by trade, and I am still learning how to use 3D model applications. I think I will eventually put them up for sale. I have now put these up for sale on Shapeways.com. The link to my storefront can be found here. Shapeways allows people to set up storefronts on their website so other people can buy 3D printed goods.

Turtle 3D model. Made in Blender 3D, 3D printed at Shapeways in Sterling Silver.
This became a 5 year anniversary gift. Photo courtesy of my wife, Kim.