3D printed jewelry is popular for a number of reasons. For many people, it’s still a novelty; telling people you’re wearing 3D printed earrings is a good conversation-starter in many circles. Then there’s the design freedom; the technology allows for complex, unconventional designs that would be difficult to produce by other means. The materials tend to be less expensive than precious metals crafted in traditional ways, and finally – and probably the biggest contributor to the popularity of 3D printed jewelry – there’s the expanded potential for customization.
The ways in which we can create fully unique, personalized jewelry are numerous in the 3D printing industry. 3D printed bracelets bearing your name or that of a loved one; meaningful, one-of-a-kind engagement rings; abstract pendants that literally capture a moment in time – those barely scratch the surface of the creative and customizable things that artists are doing with 3D printed jewelry.One design process we’ve seen from a few people is that of 3D printing sound waves. One of the most well-known sound wave artist is probably Gilles Azzaro, who has turned speech and even baby cries into striking jewelry pieces and sculptures. Then there’s Joy Complex, which 3D prints everything from Beethoven symphonies to customized voice jewelry based on recordings submitted by customers. Now a new company is stepping into the field, and their intriguing concept is a little bit different.
Japanese company 3DWave has already come up with some pretty cool 3D printing concepts in the past, like a service that generates 3D models from animated videos and a business that creates 3D printed rings from pictures of your pets. Their latest venture, just launched this summer, is Encode Ring, a website that allows customers to design their own 3D printed rings from the sound waves of their voices – just by speaking into their computers.
It’s easy to use – there’s a recorder on the website’s home page. Once you think of the profound, meaningful words you’d like to have translated into a piece of jewelry, you press the “record” button, speak your feelings, and then hit stop, at which point the website’s algorithm will quickly turn the sound waves it’s recorded into virtual ring form. I tried it out, and it’s the weekend and I’m tired and I couldn’t think of anything profound to say, so I hit “record” and just started complaining about how hot it is and how much I really wish I had some lemonade right now. It actually generated a pretty cool ring, as you can see to the left: I think it captured my mood rather well.
Most customers, I believe, will probably have something much more meaningful to say. I can see this being a popular engagement ring option; imagine being presented with a ring formed from the sound of your love’s voice saying “Will you marry me?” or “I love you” or some other sweet sentiment. That goes for any special occasion that calls for jewelry, actually: “Happy anniversary,” “Happy Mother’s Day,” birthday, Flag Day, etc.
Several materials are available, with reasonable pricing:
- Stainless Steel: ¥12,960 ($128)
- Stainless Gold: ¥12,960 ($128)
- Premium Silver: ¥32,400 ($320)
- 18K Gold: ¥108,000 ($1,067)
- Platinum: ¥129,600 ($1,281)
Record what you want to say, select your material, place your order, and 3DWave will print it and send it to you, anywhere in the world. It’s great because you can see the model of your ring before ordering, so if it looks terrible you can play around with different tones until you’re satisfied with both your message and its 3D printed representation. Plus, there’s no need to send a recording of your voice to anyone else, so you can say things as sappy as you choose without worrying that your ring artist is going to laugh at you. Discuss further over in the 3D Printed Soundwave Ring forum at 3DPB.com.