25/04/2014

The future of jewellery is 3D printing

This week Wonderluk, a new e-commerce site went live (well into beta) that sells 3D printed jewellery and accessories for the more avant-garde woman.

Though there's not a huge amount on the site on the moment (there are 17 items of jewellery and 3 iPhone cases), this is just the beginning. Currently all the designs come from Wonderluk themselves, though it could easily add 3rd party items and become a (the?) destination site for 3D fashion items.

3D printing has the power to revolutionise jewellery and accessories as designs can be conjured up mathematically that are almost impossible to imagine mentally and impossible to construct using normal jewellery fabrication methods. Mathematics is beautiful, nature uses it in everything (think of a sunflower head and the spiralling of the seeds). It will also open up the use of new materials which aren't currently used by jewellers.

All the designs are currently made out of nylon in various colours, but there's no reason in future metal or other sintered materials couldn't be used and in combinations (both in material and colour). Any piece on the site can be printed in various colours (white, black, caramel, indigo blue, ice blue, green, purple, pink, red, sunset orange and yellow).

Prices aren't cheap for what some may think of as something made of plastic, but then the pieces are exquisitely designed and made to a very high standard. If the site really takes off, volume effects will probably come in and costs may go down.

Though the site is squarely aimed at women, the iPhone cases would happily suit a Shoreditch hipster or even a geek who like tech and the thought that their phone is both protected, looks nice and comes from a 3D print.

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