Will 3D Printing Revolutionize Jewelry Biz?

Alex Fetanat’s newest blog post:

3D Printed Jewelry

3D printing is already influencing the jewelry industry.

3D printing technology has been in the news more and more frequently over the last few years.  Many experts believe that 3D printing will revolutionize many industries, particularly manufacturing and medicine.  In theory, once 3D printing becomes affordable and a bit easier to use, consumers could replicate household items like replacement doorknobs, bannisters, other rare or unique parts.  From a less practical perspective, users could also create artwork and other original three dimensional items that in the past would have been relegated to their mind’s eye.  3D printing technology is already having a significant effect on the medical industry and experts believe it is poised to become even more influential as it progresses.

With 3D printing becoming more popular and more practical, the jewelry business should be asking one question – will 3D printing change how jewelry is made?  If you’re looking for evidence in the affirmative, check out Shapeways Jewelry blog.  Shapeways, a New York City based startup allows customers to upload their own designs and then 3D prints them into physical existence.  There are tons of jewelry examples which begs the question, how far will the trend of consumers creating their own jewelry go?  Sites like Etsy have enabled small jewelry makers to sell their products without setting up a complex distribution arm.  Perhaps 3D printing jewelry is the next step in empowering the micro jewelry business.

While 3D printing of jewelry probably won’t replace jewelry created by expert craftsmen, it could snap up a decent niche of the business.  There is a lot of potential to reach people who are trying to give truly unique gifts.  What could be more meaningful than a gift designed by the giver and with no other copies?  It could also have implications for artists and craftsmen who  have design ideas but do not have to means to mass produce their creations.

The nascent 3D printing business has only just begun to take off so there are sure to be even greater unseen implications for almost every industry, including jewelry.  It will definitely be an area for jewelers to keep their collective eye on.

Thanks for coming by.  Stop back soon for more news and developments in the world of jewelry.

via Alex Fetanat http://alexfetanat.net/will-3d-printing-revolutionize-jewelry-biz/

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