We’re checking out a Korea-based 3D print service that’s a little different. JewelDistrict is entirely focused on producing jewelry.
Their operations continue a trend we’re beginning to see: 3D print services focused on a particular market niche. In this case, JewelDistrict accepts 3D models and prints them, like any other 3D print service, but they’ve set up operations specifically to attract jewelry designers.
Technically, they use the lost-wax process to produce the jewelry. They’ll 3D print your jewelry model in wax, then use that to form a mold for pouring liquid precious metal. That can be done by many 3D print services, but JewelryDistrict adds quite a few finishing services that are very appropriate for producing jewelry.
For example, they can produce models in brass or sterling silver. Surface finishing options include raw, polished, highly polished, satin, stone, circle matt, mixed brush, fully oxidizing or partial oxidizing. Plating can be in 22K or 18K gold, white or black rhodium, colors or even two-tone finishes. If desired, they can also toss in one of many different stones to complete your design.
Don't be vexed by their Korean location; JewelryDistrict serves up printed items worldwide. In fact, objects printed there do not have to be jewelry at all; as long as they fit within their parameters, we suspect they'll print it for you.
We suspect JewelryDistrict’s services would be very attractive to jewelry designers and could cause some movement of designers from more general 3D print services that don’t yet offer such specialized services. It may be that Sculpteo, Shapeways and other popular general 3D print services may be forced to add new capabilities in order to compete with smaller specialized services.