After you have ordered your pieces, your order will be sent off to Shapeways’ jewelry and 3D printing experts. Our team is well-versed in both the jewelry industry’s time-honored processes as well as the latest technologies, meaning your piece will represent the best of all worlds.
Before printing, our specialists check over and plan your design. Then, using a high-resolution 3D printer, the wax is printed layer by layer until complete.
The wax print of your design is then attached (or sprued) to a wax rod. Other designs will also be attached to the same rod, creating something that eventually looks like a wax tree. All of these pieces end up cast in the same material, whether it’s silver, gold, bronze, or brass. The wax tree, with all its different designs attached like leaves on a branch, is then fastened inside a metal container. A plaster is poured around the tree which eventually hardens. The wax slowly melts out of the hardened plaster leaving a mold of the tree with all of its designs -- including yours!
The precious molten metal of your choice is then poured into the plaster mold. Once the metal has hardened and cooled, the plaster is carefully removed from the metal.
Each order is then hand-cut from the printed supports. The supports are trimmed and polished away. Using a variety of tools and techniques, our expert jewelers gently tumble and hand-polish your order to a perfect shine.