Not long ago, if you told someone you could print gold, you’d probably be met with an eye roll and a comment having to do with money growing on trees, too. Not so anymore – you can now truthfully claim to print gold and even back up your statement with physical evidence. In fairness, you’re not actually creating gold out of nothing; the material is already there, you’re just using a printer to transform it into beautiful jewelry or other items. Still, it’s a technology that most people never could have imagined would be possible until very recently.
“3D printed jewelry” has been around for a few years, but the term is somewhat misleading, as most companies simply 3D print the molds for the jewelry. The technique still offers a lot of benefits, but for the most part, people weren’t actually 3D printing metal jewelry until two years ago, when the Precious M 080 jewelry printer arrived on the market. Developed by Cooksongold and EOS, the Precious M 080 was the first Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) printer designed to directly print jewelry and watches, no molds or casting required.
Since the launch of the precious metal printer, Cooksongold has developed several additional metal powders alongside their traditional gold material – including rose gold, white gold, silver and platinum. Their technology and materials have attracted the attention of several illustrious jewelers, including the Austrian fine jewelry producer Boltenstern. Established in 1964, the company has decades of experience in the design and production of precious metal jewelry, and recently they began using 3D printing along with more traditional processes of jewelry-making.
This month, Boltenstern announced that they are partnering up with Cooksongold, using the Precious M 080 to design and 3D print customizable luxury jewelry.
“It is only by thinking in multiple dimensions that we can create designs that are at once almost impossibly complex, yet effortlessly simple,” said Marie Boltenstern, Founder and Head of Design at Boltenstern GmbH. “…We succeed in creating brand new typologies of products by deeply understanding the capability of the machine. The direct collaboration with COOKSONGOLD is a unique symbiosis and opportunity allowing for direct feedback between design, machine, material and end-product in order to optimize and develop the revolutionizing production process.”
Marie Boltenstern is the daughter of Sven Boltenstern, who founded the brand back in 1964, and when she took the reins last year, she turned the company in its new, technologically-oriented direction. A recent graduate who studied architecture in London and Berlin, Marie has a strong background in computational design and 3D printing, which she began implementing in the business as soon as she took it over. Her vision, of combining classic style with modern technology, has resulted in a line of unique, striking pieces with visible influences of both architecture and nature.
Boltenstern began their venture into 3D printed jewelry in the way that most other companies do: by 3D printing molds and using them to cast the actual jewelry pieces the traditional way. Now, with the Precious M 080 printer, they’ll stand out even more among the crowd of jewelers striving to combine the old and the new in an art form that has been around for centuries, but is still constantly changing and evolving. Discuss further in the Boltenstern 3D Printed Jewelry forum over at 3DPB.com.