My son 3d printed their wedding rings…
He’s going to be travelling today with his yound family down from Hull to Portsmouth for the St Malo ferry to visit us here in the Charente so going to be difficult to contact.
I’ll ask him if he he has any tips to pass on though…
tbh I don’t even know but the rings are real… I’ve seen them, touched them (obviously) but as to the technical detail… I was too afraid to ask
He’s a very able programmer with an incredible head on his shoulders - his abilities put my measly programming skills to shame when he was still quite young and at school - programming at machine code level, propeller head stuff…
At boarding school, he completely reprogrammed the school-wide screen announcement system (amongst other achievements).
I’ll sit down with him during his stay and ask him more about it perhaps. It’ll be an achievement if I ever get to understand the half of it!
My son has responded to my question about how he managed to 3D print his wedding rings and indeed it was as @carlmt mentions Shapeways who did the final job, in his case with silver.
The 3D printer was used to produce the CAD file they printed a high res model out of a special casting wax then did the normal jeweller casting process, attaching the model to a sprue with other models, then making a plaster mould and pouring molten metal in, then break the mould and cut off the models, tidy up and polish.
Quite a specialist job and you can see why it’s expensive! (no cheap tat for my DIL )
My brother, at the age of 50, admitted to me that he stole a ring from Woolworths while he was a teenager for his mate from school who wanted to get engaged to his girlfriend. He said at the time it was very easy - school blazer, stretch hand across the Woolworths counter to something beyond what you want and then just shovel the ring up the sleeve with the other hand.
I was appalled, but also deeply grateful he’d got away with it!
Nonetheless, I worry that its principal use might become the production of plastic novelty tat that was formerly made by injection moulding.
At the other end of the spectrum, it’s also possible to print one-off luxury car bodies - an extension of the so-called ‘pizza car’ that appeared about thirty years ago, when large car manufacturers began offering various kinds of car based on a single ‘platform’.
I’ll be honest and this does concern me a little. I like the geeky aspect of it, and I have a few things that I’d like to print but the majority of items I see on thingiverse do look to be solving a problem that doesn’t exist.
I was thinking of smaller runs of tat rather than the volume needed for economically viable injection moulded tat.
However, I’m interested in all making processes and have worked in all sorts of sculptural media from welded steel and cast bronze to goatskins and digitally printed ceramic glazes. Currently tentatively modelling champagne bottles’ foil into tiny figures that assume archetypal poses from classical art.