How it's made
Your custom jewelry,
created by hand and machine.
Once you have designed and ordered your customized pieces, your designs will be sent off to Shapeways’ jewelry and 3D printing experts. Our team is well-versed in both the jewelry industry’s time-honored processes as well as the latest technologies, meaning your piece will represent the best of all worlds.
Before printing, our specialists check over and plan your design. Then, using a high-resolution 3D printer, the wax is printed layer by layer until complete.
The wax print of your design is then attached (or sprued) to a wax rod. Other designs will also be attached to the same rod, creating something that eventually looks like a wax tree. All of these pieces end up cast in the same material, whether it’s silver, gold, bronze, or brass. The wax tree, with all its different designs attached like leaves on a branch, is then fastened inside a metal container. A plaster is poured around the tree which eventually hardens. The wax slowly melts out of the hardened plaster leaving a mold of the tree with all of its designs -- including yours!
The molten precious metal of your choice is then poured into the plaster mold. Once the metal has hardened and cooled, the plaster is carefully removed from the metal.
Each design is then hand-cut from the tree. The branches (or sprues, if we’re being technical) are trimmed and polished. Using a variety of tools and techniques, our expert jewelers delicately tumble and hand-polish your design to a perfect shine.