3D printing service provider Shapeways is now adding interlocking metals to their portfolio of 3D printable materials. Customers can choose between brass, bronze and silver prints in two finishes.
Designers and jewellery makers can now order 3D prints with up to 6 interlocking metal parts that are 3D printed together. As the printed parts do not have any interlocking seams as seen in manually connected parts, the objects are more durable.
The two finishes available are raw and polished. For the raw finish, objects are briefly tumbled creating a rustic, matte look with rough surfaces and some tarnishing. This is ideal if you want to achieve a more aged look, simply get your prototypes or functional parts printed or if you plan to finish them yourself by hand. Polished parts have a smooth and shiny finish created by extensive hand-polishing.
Peter Weijmarshausen, CEO Shapeways of shapeways on the latest addition to the company’s material portfolio:
“The launch of interlocking metals is a huge step in how jewelers and designers can use Shapeways to bring their creations to life. From chains to earrings to necklaces, the introduction of interlocking metals not only eliminates post-processing production, but also invites the potential for more complex and intricate designs. By consistently expanding our materials and production offerings, we move steadily toward our goal of being the ultimate creative platform for makers–their designs being limited only by their imaginations.”
Shapeways launched a pilot program for interlocking brass and silver last year. Among the designers that have already embraced the interlocking metals capability is Lana Lepper, of LanaBetty. “To design jewelry specific for 3D printing is to design a piece that could not be made any other way. What I love about interlocking metals, is that it encompasses this idea perfectly,” she said. “Clients look at my interlocked pieces with wonderment and curiosity, searching for the point at which the metal was cut and re-soldered together. When it clicks and they begin to comprehend how the jewelry was designed and created, is the best moment. They get it and they immediately love the piece even more.”