This article is contributed by Ryan Hall.
The most impressive feature of the web is its ability to level the playing field, to give the general public a voice and create tools for new startups to compete with huge businesses. This is the ultimate tool for self-expression and for democracy, and puts incredibly powerful tools in the hands of everyone around the world.
But while some people might choose to use these powers to try and make a stand and change the world for the better, they can also be used for some more casual, fun uses. You have access to powerful industrial tools and a whole range of materials at prices lower than ever before… what are you going to do? How about making jewellery?
Why Make Your Own Jewellery
Back in the day, saying that you were going to make your own jewellery might have been met with a roll of the eyes. Making jewellery once meant buying beads and threading them together on a piece of string and was normally a hobby reserved for very talented artists or people more interested in crafts such as knitting and woodwork.
As mentioned though, the web has now give us the same kinds of tools that big businesses have, which mean you no longer have to glue things together or buy cheap beads from hobbyist stores. These days you can create jewellery that looks just as professional as the things you might buy in a shop, and actually you can do it in many cases quite cheaply. You also have access to more supplies and more materials than ever before – right from the comfort of your home.
And by making your own jewellery, you’ll be able to create things that are completely unique one-of-a-kinds. You can rest assured that no one in the world is going to have the same items, and you can make designs that are going to suit you completely perfectly. And if you get really good… you may even be able to make some money from your new hobby…
How to Make Jewellery Online
So how do you make jewellery online? Well there are a couple of ways and a couple of tools, but one of the best is to use 3D printing.
Essentially, 3D printing is like regular printing… only in 3D (no duh). This is accomplished by taking a block of material (which can be anything from china, to plastic to silver) and then cutting it to meet design specifications using a laser that will move around it in three dimensions and follow a 3D design file made in a piece of CAD (computer aided design) software.
This essentially means that as long as your design is made from a single ‘part’ (and doesn’t have any extremely narrow sections), you will be able to make pretty much anything you can think of. This includes amazing jewellery.
3D CAD Software
To start with, you are going to need some 3D modelling software, and to this end you should look into free packages like Blender. Blender is a tool that will allow you to create amazing 3D designs as easily as you would with an expensive piece of software, and you can find all the instructions you could ever need on YouTube.
From here, you should then create a simple design to begin with. Make sure that all elements are joined as a single ‘part’ and that they are solid rather than hollow. Save as an STL file and you’re ready to go.
From here you can then upload your design to a site like Shapeways, which will allow you to see a rendered visualisation along with costs for the various different materials. If you’re happy with what you’ve created, then click ‘order’ and wait. While the cost can be high depending on your design, you will find that you pay less than you would for many other pieces of jewellery as you’re not paying for a brand or the vision – that’s all you.
What Shapways can’t do however, is to cut out diamonds and the like – this is something that can only be done professionally and that requires a special diamond cutter (this is due to diamond being the hardest substance known to man).
If you want to make your jewellery really shine (literally) then you are going to need to buy the diamonds separately and then attach them to the rings/pendants that you create. Note as well though, that you can also use the web to find the best deals on these gems and so save even more money.
Author Bio: Ryan Hall is a part of the team at Lior Diamonds which manufactures a unique blend of diamond jewellery in Chicago. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and surfing. Visit this website to know more about his work.
- jewellery on the rocks image courtesy of miandadr
- jewellery display image courtesy of Market Manager – La Grande Farmers’ Market
- jewellery image courtesy of Marion Doss
- ear-rings image courtesy of Chris RubberDragon
- magnificent stone image courtesy of Steve Jurvetson