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When Christian Genco proposed to his future wife, Elisa, he knew about 3D printing technologies, but he went one step further. He decided that it would be just as cool, if not cooler, to save some serious cash and have an engagement ring 3D printed. In some circles, Genco may have been viewed as trying to get away with something by not going through the suffering of following the old wives tale that says one should spend three months worth of wages on an engagement ring. But, in the end, he proved as brilliant as the 3D printed cubic zirconia that he placed on Elisa’s finger — signifying that he is both innovative, creative, and forward looking regarding both all things nuptial as well as technological.

ring2How does $100 sound for an engagement ring? Well, that’s how low the ring Genco chose could have been. He went a little higher for his ring, spending money for a designer, trial printings and backup stones. This all cost a little more: $508.77 to be exact. But guess what? It was well worth it all, as Elisa accepted his proposal and they were happily married. Another nontraditional thing the couple did was design the ring together. Instead of Genco going through all of the trouble of sweating it while taking a chance on an engagement ring that he hoped she would like, he went ahead and included her in the design so that he could be assured that she would say “Yes” when the time was right (I guess a bit after it arrived in the mail?).

The now husband and wife both share a commitment to saving and financial frugality (it’s good they agree on that!) and they started off by buying a one carat cubic zirconia off eBay. He found a design and then pursued a 3D designer:

“I got a lot of rejects, and quotes all over the map: $200 to $600 (and remember, this is just for the design). I settled on moving forward with a designer named Dani Epstein, who had a very impressive portfolio including a piece of jewelry that had a lot of classical detail work… We went back and forth a few times on various design changes and errors in the print process. The most embarrassing of which was that the ring was initially created with a 15.53mm radius instead of diameter. When this was fixed, the 6.5mm space for the stone was also shrunk by half, which we didn’t discover until ordering a test print in plastic.”

ring4Once they decided they liked the design, Genco had a plastic ring 3D printed first so they could make sure that it fit and they liked the design. He reports being “elated” when the real 3D printed ring arrived — it was in silver this time, not plastic like its prototype. The silver ring revealed much more detail, and a happy couple proceeded to the altar…

Genco also broke down the total costs for the original ring — and what it would cost to craft a replacement, should it ever be needed:

“Total cost:

  • 1 carat CZ wedding ring (for emergency backup): $13.41
  • Handful of Cubic Zirconia stones in different sizes: $41.76
  • Design by Dani Epstein: $290
  • Handful of 3D printed rings to test different materials and size: $34.30
  • Test print in plastic: $28.05
  • Silver Print: $66.25
  • Ring mounting: $35
  • Total: $508.77

However, if we wanted to print an identical copy, the marginal cost would only be:

  • 1 carat CZ stone: $5
  • Silver Print: $66.25
  • Ring mounting: $35
  • Total for another ring: $106.25

You can read more about the whole design and printing process here, in case you too would like to be cost-effective, I mean, forward looking! Would you enjoy something like this? Discuss in the 3D Printed Engagement Ring forum over at 3DPB.com.

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