I love jewelry. It’s just a fact of my life (sometimes much to my poor husband’s chagrin). Wearing a ring or pendant with great meaning can make me feel closer to family members, while statement pieces can add the right panache to an outfit to make me feel particularly fancy. Most of my favorite pieces are hand-me-downs, at least in part; the diamond in my engagement ring was from my grandmother’s ring. Aside from heirlooms and traditional pieces, the pieces I most love to wear are the ones I’ve designed. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body (for some reason, the only thing I can draw well is a llama), but I am really good at clicking things I like and encouraging people who are actually good at design. Fortunately for me, and others interested in custom designs but maybe not all the work that goes into them, designing unique pieces is about to get a whole lot more accessible.
Taiwan is a hot spot of 3D printing creativity, as we see over and over again. A small team from Taiwan, led by founder Ting Tang, is getting ready to introduce their new app. Coming by the end of February, the app from Elements Lab promises at-your-fingertips ease in designing your own jewelry, showcasing your style in real, 3D printed jewelry through the Elements Lab Jewelry Maker.
“Elements Lab is a Taiwan-based startup, started its business with small scale of 3d printing service and held 3DP learning classes in local college since 2013. It’s still a small team now, however, Elements Lab is always aiming [at the] big picture and striving to convey the magic power of 3D printing to its audience,” Elements Lab’s Ting Tang tells 3DPrint.com.
They’ve recently released their second trailer for the app, to illustrate how it can be used:
The app works simply: click through the types of jewelry (ring? pendant?) and select your ring size, if applicable. Then go through available charm options (more of a bow person or a fan of ice cream designs? Do you want to put a bird on it?) as well as metal options and gemstones, just poking at your Android device to indicate your preferences. And of course, Elements Lab understands if their existing options aren’t exactly your cup of tea: users can also upload original drawings or pictures, then have their truly custom work created. Pricing works according to the exact piece created; quotes are sent over once a design is completed, and must be user-approved before the production begins.
As Ting described to me:
“…We hope this entry-level jewelry making app could let everyone enjoy the fun of playing with jewelry and design. One of the great function is we accept sketch upload, in case users don’t like our designs, they can upload a drawing or picture and we’ll help them make it a real jewelry. And this is a true co-work model for both digital and traditional makers.”
Elements Lab is still hard at work, adding to the collection of charms to be immediately available. The app is set to be released after the Chinese New Year, by the end of February, through the Google Play store for Android devices. Versions for iOS and Windows will be forthcoming following this initial release. Accessible to both laypersons who like pretty things (this might be where I fall in!) and makers who are used to programming their own PCBs, Elements Lab’s Jewelry Maker is ready for all, as Ting notes on the site that, “This app is designed for everyone, everyone who loves to play with jewelry and designs; however, the platform behind this app is built for 3D printing technology and makers.”
“A true jewelry making process requires seamless co-work and communication between digital and traditional makers to make it a perfect product. Ting, founder of Elements Lab wishes to use this app to pay tribute to traditional makers and encourage more digital makers to work with traditional professionals. Elements Lab is also hoping to attract more jewelry designers, 3D modelers or even casting houses from the globe to join this project,” Elements Lab explains.
We’ve seen a lot of 3D printed jewelry–and in the case of Elements Lab, it certainly looks like the technology is being put to good use, in both design and physical molding and modelling. Below is a video from the team highlighting how they go from 3D to wearable jewelry:
“Jewelry design is never easy to anyone,” Elements Lab explains. “But 3D printing technology somehow bridges the gap closer for everyone. As more 3DP applications emerges, Elements Lab eyes on jewelry design and work with experienced traditional makers(craftsmen) to start its experimental project- Jewelry Maker App. The Jewelry Maker App is allowing everyone at any age without CAD skills required, simply to assemble the ring and charm together to make it a ring or pendant. Once you submit your final design, Elements Lab will send you the quotation and ask for your consent to go on production process. And it’s always hard to please everyone by limited numbers of designs, so there’s one great function about this app is, it accepts users to upload their own designs like sketches or pictures, the design team behind the app will help you make it a real one.”
- Following the common rule in jewelry industry, all gemstones (such as diamond, red gem and blue gem in the app) that we use on silver products are considered to be man-made stones.
- However, pearls are real ones, size range from 3-6.5mm(D).
- The composition of 10K yellow/white gold or rose gold are following industry standard, they are NOT gold-plated products. And the gemstones (such as diamond, ruby, sapphire) we use on real gold products that are considered to be natural stones.
- We’d love to help users to convert sketches or designs into CAD file, however, we do NOT accept branded product photos. The pictures you submit must be original.
While we’ve certainly seen 3D printed jewelry before, and even apps to help design custom jewelry, it’s examples like this provided by Elements Lab that truly highlight how accessible the 3D printing space is for startups–and how directly they can interact with customers these days. Business models like this design app bring design straight to a user’s fingertips, allowing those interested to participate in the customization process, and forever offering more choices for everyone.
Check out the first trailer for the Jewelry Maker App, as well as more examples of jewelry from Elements Labs, below. Discuss in the Elements Lab 3D Printing App forum over at 3DPB.com.