When I was in elementary school, monograms were a huge trend. Everyone I knew seemed to have their names all over their belongings: backpacks, key chains, lunch boxes, pens, etc. I envied the girls at school who had delicate little necklaces with “Brittany” or “Ashley” spelled out in flowy gold or silver script, often complemented by tiny jewels or flowers. My name, however, couldn’t be found anywhere, even on the biggest displays of name key chains you’d see at the mall. Very occasionally, I’d see a “Claire,” but that just added insult to injury – I’d finally found my name on a premade product, and it was spelled wrong? I eventually just settled for jewelry with the letter “C” on it, so I could be sort of like all the other girls.
Nowadays, in this era of mass customization, it’s a lot easier to put your name on things – generally much nicer things than plastic key chains. 3D printing has a lot to do with this, of course. One business that offers both customization and class is Polychemy, a website that allows you to design your own fine jewelry to be 3D printed. Now, just in time for the holidays, Polychemy is offering a series of new jewelry designs with a bunch of options for personalization, including text, gems, and metal type. Options range from the subtle, like a necklace that features your initials blended into a Japanese-style wave design, to the not-so-subtle: your name in big letters surrounded by a bejeweled crown. There are even several Braille options.
The site still retains a wide variety of metals and gemstones, including most birthstones. (Birthstones were also huge when I was in grade school – I had a ton of aquamarine jewelry to make up for not being able to have my name plastered all over myself.) Prices are very reasonable for the kind of materials on offer; the jewelry industry is yet another that has been able to offer quality at lower cost thanks to 3D printing. 18k gold for under $1000? Diamonds for under $100? Not bad.
Polychemy has also redesigned its website. The site is now optimized for tablets and mobile devices, and a new, easy-to-use interactive display gives users more flexibility as they design their pieces. In addition, an improved rendering engine allows customers to see their creations worn by real models before they complete their order.
At this time, I don’t own any 3D printed jewelry, but I’m thinking that Polychemy might be a good place to start. I’ve got another high school reunion coming up in a few years. It would be the perfect place for me to wear my personally designed, high-end, correctly-spelled name necklace to make all those Ashleys and Brittanys jealous. Discuss this story in the Polychemy forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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