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I have said it here before, I think, and if I haven’t then I am saying it now: the world’s first 3D printing pen, the 3Doodler, is an amazing device that continues to impress me simply in the category of artistic versatility alone. Just look at the recent winners announced in the 3Doodler Awards 2015, which recognized eight different categories including education, interior design, mixed media, and my personal favorite, fashion, including jewelry. Speaking of 3Doodled jewelry, now 3Doodler makes news again by presenting the world’s first solid gold 3Doodles by David Cunningham. These gold pieces, and his other creations, speak to the way artistic creativity is inspired by this oh-so-versatile 3D printing pen.

jew4New York-based jewelry designer David Cunningham of DGC Jewelers is among the first to 3Doodle casts and then turn them into fine jewelry — including 14K solid gold pieces. This 3Doodled casting was a bit of an experiment for all involved, as 3Doodler reports that Cunningham had inquired whether they thought casting with a pen would work. (A friend sent him a 3Doodled heart and wanted it cast in gold, prompting the question.) And guess what? The folks at 3Doodler weren’t sure until they saw the results of his experimentation: a 14K gold heart. Naturally, this led him to pursue more jewelry casting projects, and now we can see the results of this new method: 3Doodle-cast fine jewelry!

Other 3Doodlers dabbling in jewelry making and casting will be curious to hear how this initial process began, using his onyx pendant (see left)P as an example:

“There was a relatively short learning curve in learning how to control the pen, finding a surface the piece would stick to, and understanding what it is capable of; but the challenge wasn’t in how we were going to make it, but rather what we were going to design with it. For me the onyx pendant was a kind of work in progress. I used the triangle tip and printed almost like I was decorating a cake with frosting. This gave me a shape that I really liked, but I didn’t know what to do with. I printed the swirl wire around it and cast it, but it wasn’t until I was looking at the cast piece that I decided to antique the pattern, and set an onyx bead at the bottom that completed the look.”

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Regarding the onyx pendant, Cunningham reports that they were very surprised how different the pieces looked compared to those printed in various colored plastic.

jew6To 3Doodler’s question as to whether the “melting plastic medium” facilitated any new forms unimaginable otherwise, Cunningham explained that this, in fact, was one of their design goals with the pen. They wanted to find forms otherwise impossible to create using other traditional methods. The end results were forms organic to the pen itself, as Cunningham described here:

“The organic look and variation of thick and thin, and even some of the little mistakes, add to the interest and appeal of what we make with the 3Doodler. On the two-tone pin we used the triangle tip, and while extruding it we were able to twist it before it hardened, giving us a cool twisting look; while this is something we could have done with triangular wire, it was still something fun to do with the Doodler.”

For both 3Doodlers and 3D printed jewelry designers who have yet to experiment themselves with a 3Doodler, DGC Jewellers has opened a design door here that makes jewelry design more accessible overall. Is this something you’d like to try? Discuss in the 3Doodler Casting forum over at 3DPB.com.

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