today is Feb 01, 2023

Jewelry making has long been one of the most popular crafts. Whether you like adding beads to strings, hammering your own rings, or working to make any other kind of jewelry, this article could be for you.

3D printing offers an excellent option for those who want to create their own jewelry at home. You can make a piece like a ring in less than an hour, giving you the chance to unleash your creative mind. But how exactly can make your own 3D printed jewelry?

Let’s take a look at 3D printing jewelry and the steps you need to take, followed by exploring the types of printers to use for your jewelry making.

How to Make 3D Printed Jewelry

3D printing jewelry is easier than many people expect. Both FDM and resin-based printers will have an easy job of replicating many of the designs you find online, and the size of many jewelry items makes them very fast to print. You can find the steps in this process outlined below.

Step 1: Find or Make the Files

thingiverse one ring

You can find countless 3D jewelry models available online. Websites like Thingiverse enable you to download files for free, making it possible to get started right away. You could also look at websites like CGTrader if you don’t mind paying for your files.

Some people will choose to design their own 3D printed jewelry. While this approach is more challenging, software like Blender and Fusion360 can give you incredible freedom when you’re creating your own designs.

For our print, we decided to go with a piece that everyone can recognize: Sauron’s Ring of Power, The One Ring. For this we used a design by tato_713 on Thingiverse.

Step 2: Choose the Material

 <a href=3D Printer filament types" height="449" width="799">

Once you have a file in mind, it will be time to pick the right material for your 3D printed jewelry. We picked an orange silk PLA for our design, as the metallic look of this filament makes it ideal for a piece like The One Ring.

For those looking for something stronger, ABS, PETG, or even nylon could be a good choice. You could also consider using soluble filaments like PVA to enable complex supports for jewelry with extra flair.

Step 3: Choose the Right Slicer Settings

Choosing the right slicer settings can have a dramatic impact on the quality of your 3D printed jewelry. You need to set the right heat and speed options for your material, but there are a few other settings you need to consider as you are 3D printing jewelry.

3D printed ring layer height settings
  • Layer Height: A print’s layer height dictates the level of detail that it can achieve. We used a 0.08mm layer height for our print, but this is about as low as you can go with the 0.4mm nozzle we are using. You could consider using a finer nozzle, but you also need to make sure that your printer can achieve the layer height you are aiming for.
3D printed ring perimeter settings
  • Exterior Speed: The exterior print speed setting enables you to lower the speed of your printer while it works on the finest parts of your 3D printed jewelry. It can take some experimentation to get the best speed for you, but we find that 20% works well for capturing details like those on The One Ring.
3D printed ring infill settings
  • Infill: Most people work towards using as little infill as possible while achieving the strongest print, but jewelry items aren’t functional; they are decorative. Increasing the weight of a piece like a ring by using 100% infill can be a good way to make it feel more substantial, but this is optional.

Once you have found the right settings for you, you can export your 3D printable jewelry file and move on to the next step.

Step 4: 3D Print Your Jewelry

jewelry being 3D printed

One of the best things about 3D printing is the time that it gives you to enjoy other hobbies without diminishing your results! Of course, that is just a nice way of saying that you’ll have to wait a little while before you can wear your new jewelry.

Our One Ring took about 1 hour and 20 minutes to complete with our settings. Larger pieces, like bracelets, necklaces, and earrings could take much longer. As long as your bed is level, your settings are correct, and nothing goes wrong, it will be well worth the wait.

Step 5: Finishing Your 3D Printed Jewelry

hand sanding

Finishing your jewelry is entirely optional. We decided to leave our ring in the state that it came off the 3D printer, but you can see some alternative finishing ideas below.

  • Sanding: Sanding is one of the most popular ways to finish 3D printed jewelry. You can use simple sandpaper or a precision sanding tool for this, and some people will even coat their finished piece with epoxy for extra shine.
  • Chemical Vapor: Chemicals can be used to smooth the surface of certain plastics. PLA can be smoothed with isopropyl alcohol vapor, while ABS can be smoothed with acetone vapor. It is worth making sure that you know what you are doing before starting this process.
  • Patinas/Polishing: Some filaments contain small amounts of materials like copper and steel. This gives them weight, while also providing qualities that are usually reserved for metals. Copper and bronze-filled filaments can have a rich patina, while steel filaments can be polished or brushed for an authentic look.

Choosing the Best 3D Printer for Jewelry Making

best jewelry 3d printer

Choosing a 3D printer for jewelry making shouldn’t be too hard. There are a lot of great-value printers on the market that offer excellent precision, like the Creality Ender 5 or Ender 5 Pro, and it’s easy to figure out what to look for.

Layer height is very important for your 3D printed jewelry, and this means that printers with lower minimum layer heights are better. The Ender 5 has a minimum layer height of 0.1mm, while the printer we used, the Flashforge Creator 3, has a minimum layer height of 0.05mm. This makes the Flashforge better for detailed printing.

Alongside layer height, you also need to think about the types of materials you would like to print. Some printers can only deal with materials like PLA and PETG, with examples like nylon and ABS requiring enclosures for effective printing.

Enjoying Your 3D Printed Jewelry

Making your own jewelry can be a fun way to express yourself without having to spend a fortune in the process. 3D printing jewelry is easy and fun, making it a great project for children and adults alike. You just need to make sure that you dress to impress.


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About The Author

Samuel L. Garbett (24 Articles Published)

Samuel is a UK-based technology writer with a passion for all things DIY. Having started businesses in the fields of web development and 3D printing, along with working as a writer for many years, Samuel offers a unique insight into the world of technology. Focusing mainly on DIY tech projects, he loves nothing more than sharing fun and exciting ideas that you can try at home. Outside of work, Samuel can usually be found cycling, playing PC video games, or desperately attempting to communicate with his pet crab.

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