Getting it made
I wanted to explore a couple elements of digital fabrication that were new to me, so this week I started the ball rolling on a project I've been thinking about for quite some time.
This is a ring that my grandmother designed and then paid for with her first pay check. I've thought about having a cast made - just in case anything should happen to it - but this being the future and all, I decided to have a 3D scan taken of it instead. From here I'd be able to make another copy of the ring in gold for a certain family member who has a birthday coming up. The first step was to visit AMS we took a scan of the ring using the NextEngine 3D scanner.
After the file from the scan is cleaned up I'll have a number of choices for fabrication.
I.materialize is a 3d printing company in Europe that has a wide range of 3D printing options for metal. I've emailed them with cost and recommendation questions for the following:
a) printing in 14k yellow gold
b) printing in brass
c) printing in steel and gold plating
d) printing in titanium and gold plating
Once I have a final file from my scan I'll know my overall material volume as well as my wall thicknesses which may help determine what my material options are.
I found out that a 1cu.cm model in Brass is 25euro, Titanium is 97.
Shapeways is another 3D printing company that has some of its offices in NY. I've used them before for another project that involved 3D printing steel with gold plating. For that project a rougher finish was acceptable, however in this case I would either need an additional polishing process, or choose a different material. The gold plated brass on their website is really very lovely and has lower minimum wall requirements with a substantially higher price tag.
GOLD PLATED STAINLESS STEEL
Ships in: 16 business days
Handling Fee Per Model:$9.00
Price Per cm3: $8.00
Minimum Wall: 3.0mm
GOLD PLATED BRASS
Ships in: 20 business days
Handling Fee Per Model: $30.00
Price Per cm3: $22.00
Minimum Wall: 0.8mm (Polished & Gold Plated)
Karbra is a metal casting and plating company located in NY. I contacted them with the possible option of gold plating for titanium or in the event that having a gold ring cast by hand locally is cheaper than a 3D wax print cast in Europe. Unfortunately the quote I was given for a gold cast was in $/penny weight - a conversion that I'm not fluent in - but hopefully once my CAD file is complete I'll be able to get a more exact quote.
It's important to be able to accurately communicate your designs any time you're involving other people/organizations in your fabrication. Taking randomly distributed shapes, the aim was to accurately communicate their dimensions to someone else.
I recently completed a project that I felt warranted some nice documentation. This is a custom set of pieces for the board game Hive. Below is a presentation I made to summarize my process, and you can find my complete instruction breakdown here.