Thursday, 7 June 2012

3D printing jewellery with Shapeways: Three months in.

Well, I haven't done a lot of .stl file production over this past month. My recent interests seem to have moved away from the realm of sci-fi and technology and towards the realm of handcrafted, homemade materials and items. I blame my recent exposure to the second series of Game of Thrones, although I went to the cinema to watch Prometheus last night, so maybe the effects of that on me will emerge in the next few weeks. That said, I will probably be spending this month panicking about finding a new place to live.

Here's what I have been upto:

- did some calculations on the Shapeways ceramic material to find out potential prices for differently sized things. Ceramic is odd; they price it by surface area, not volume.

- did some calculations on the Shapeways sterling silver material and British hallmarking laws - and then removed the ability to buy in silver from everything that would be over 7.78g in weight from my shop before I get me into trouble...

- did some research on the Shapeways stainless steel material to figure out potential sizes and prices for awareness jewellery.

- did some research for suppliers of hemp cord and wooden beads. I bought some last year and wanted to make sure I could replace my supplies before I committed them to a piece.

- did some research on cord or yarns produced entirely in Britain. I emailed some people who sell items made from their alpacas' fur to ask if they also supply the yarn itself, but they have yet to reply... so I'm looking at others.

- experimented with the hemp and wooden beads I already had. The picture here shows 16 bracelets, made from combinations of two different ways of knotting, four different colours of 1mm hemp cord, and four different types of 8mm wooden bead.

- posted a question on Facebook and the Shapeways forums to ask which style of photo filter people preferred out of these four...

- started thinking about different things to adorn the hemp bracelets/anklets with... I'm now wearing four bracelets on my wrists with the following decoration:
1. a pretty pocket watch I bought from a car-boot sale in Saundersfoot. It wasn't working, so I've set the time to the time I was born - ten to noon.
2. a silvery ringpull/keyring combo.
3. the Eight Petals Crossed square pendant in sterling silver.
4. and a Desperados bottle top with a greenish two pence piece from 1979.

It's a strange combination to wear all at once. I like it.