3D printing jewelry rarely means 3D printing actual wearable pieces made from filament or resin, but instead using a jewelry 3D printer to create high-resolution wax models of the eventual gold or platinum design, used to create a mold that is burned out and cast via investment casting or lost wax casting.
- We also have an article ranking some of the most beautiful 3D printed jewelry.
In fact, much jewelry is now created this way. There are entire factories of resin 3D printers set up to create castable wax resin models to be molded and then melted to create high-end jewelry.
However, owning your own jewelry 3D printer gives you more control over your production, and saves you money compared with paying someone to print your own molds. Castable resin molds can be produced for rings and other jewelry pieces for just the cost of the resin used, perhaps a dollar or two, whereas you could end up paying $25+ for someone to print it for you.
|Name||Build volume (mm)||Price||Where to buy|
|Elegoo Mars 2 Pro||129 x 80 x 160||$329||Amazon here|
|Peopoly Phenom||276 x 155 x 400||$1,999||Matterhackers here|
|Formlabs Form 3||145 x 145 x 185||$3,499||Dynamism Store here|
|Solidscape S325||6" x 6" x 4"||Quote||Get a Quote here|
|EnvisionTEC D4K Jewelry||148 x 83 x 110||Quote||Get a Quote here|
The Jewelry 3D Printing Process
- CAD File: Either design your own jewelry piece on CAD software, pay someone to design your desired piece, or pay for an existing jewelry STL file online and download it.
- Slice & Prepare: If not already an STL or other compatible file, export it as one. Then import it into your 3D slicer and slice it for printing.
- Print the model: Use a castable wax resin designed for jewelry model 3D printing.
- Molding: Pour your molding material over your wax jewelry model, and leave it to harden.
- Melt the wax: Heat your new mold so that the original wax model melts and evaporates, leaving a hollow empty space inside with the exact dimensions of your planned jewelry piece.
- Casting: Pour melted liquid metal e.g. gold, silver or platinum into the mold to cast it.
What are 3D printers for jewelry?
Resin 3D printers are considered the best 3D printers for jewelry. They are used with specialized castable wax resins, which rather than going from solid to liquid when heated, transition directly into a gas from their solid state.
Though prevalent, FDM 3D printers are very rarely used as 3D printers for jewelry. They are not capable of the same resolutions, crisp surface finishes or accuracies required for intricate and delicate jewelry pieces. Jewelry 3D prints need to be incredibly highly detailed and accurate — an inaccurate mold will create inaccurate and unimpressive jewelry.
Additionally, the better the jewelry 3D printer quality, the less finishing the resulting jewelry piece will need to perfect it.
What do jewelry 3D printers make?
Usually they 3D print wax jewelry molds, for example of ring designs before any stones are set, or individual chain links.
However, they can also be used to create like-for-like “fitting pieces” for testing the fit of an as-yet unmade ring for a client’s finger. Though making the final ring would be expensive and take time, an exact replica can be made on a jewelry 3D printer in just minutes to test the sizing.
This saves the trouble of creating a piece just to find it doesn’t fit properly. Whereas for jewelry molds specialized castable resins are required, for these fitting pieces standard resins can be used.
The best 3D printers for jewelry
1 — Elegoo Mars 2 Pro
- Jewelry 3D printer price: $329 — Available on Amazon here / 3DJake UK & Europe here
- Build volume: 129 x 80 x 160 mm
Featuring a 6-inch monochrome LCD screen offering HD 2K resolution, the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro offers precise jewelry printing for the price. Rather than DLP or SLA, the Mars 2 Pro uses LCD printing to cure entire resin layers at once, quickening print speeds and able to print at 30-50mm/h.
Other 3D printers for jewelry on this list offer better quality, but for the price the Mars 2 Pro is a great option. It is sturdily built with its CNC-machined aluminum structure for better stability, and the mono LCD is upgraded for improved lifespan to save you money over the long term. It’s one of the best 3D printers for jewelry under $500.
The Elegoo Mars has Z-axis resolutions of up to 0.00125mm, XY-resolutions of 0.05mm, and weighs 6.2kg. It also supports 12 different languages, so if you’re not a native English speaker you can choose your own language.
The video below even shows, from start to finish, how accurately you can make wax models for gold jewelry using a standard Elegoo Mars. Even this standard version produces good quality wax models, and the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro comes with several upgrades on the original. Still, the standard Elegoo Mars can be purchased here.
2 — Peopoly Phenom
- Jewelry 3D printer price: $1,999 — Available on Matterhackers here
- Build volume: 276 x 155 x 400 mm
The Peopoly Phenom offers truly enormous printing volumes, almost unheard of for a jewelry 3D printer. For jewelers looking to produce many rings or other pieces simultaneously, this larger volume provides space for dozens of wax jewelry models. If you’re in demand for jewelry and want to make as many as possible then this larger build volume is crucial.
With its 4K high resolution projection quality using MSLA technologies, the Phenom produces crisp, accurate and consistent jewelry molds. MSLA takes elements from both LED and LCD technologies, the result being fast, accurate and repeatable jewelry 3D printing.
- The even larger version, the Peopoly Phenom L, is available here.
- For faster print speeds, the premium Peopoly Noir is available here.
The Phenom uses Chitubox resin 3D slicer, useful if you’ve previously used it previously on another printer. Overall, it’s one of the best 3D printers for jewelry, and a great choice for people looking to make large numbers of castable wax jewelry models.
3 — Formlabs Form 3
- 3D for jewelry price: $3,499 — Available on Dynamism here
- Build volume: 145 x 145 x 185 mm
Seen as the gold-standard in professional resin printing, the Form 3 is capable of fantastic precision, with its new custom Light Processing Unit (LPU) using lenses and mirrors to accurately print jewelry models.
For the price, the Form 3 offers 25-micron resolutions and very consistent and repeatable printing. For those looking for a 3D printer for jewelry able to produce the same design flawlessly again and again, or for producing custom intricate designs, the Form 3 can handle both without issue.
Formlabs make their own castable wax resins designed for jewelry with “crisp settings, sharp prongs and smooth shanks.” Within the Formlabs workflow therefore is a complete jewelry production process for wax models, though the Form 3 also excels as a dental 3D printer and in other industries, too.
4 — Solidscape S325
- Price: Requires a quote
- Build volume: 6” x 6” x 4”
Soliscape make specially designed jewelry 3D printers, so any Solidscape printer you buy is optimized for jewelry printing. Whereas other printers like the Form 3 are designed to excel in a number of industries, the Solidscape S325 is designed with jewelry wholly in mind.
The S325 is the cheapest of Solidscape’s jewelry 3D printer range. It offers great accuracy, material jetting wax models for the precise and effective investment casting of precious metals. Solidscape stress that all their models are castable in gold and platinum, and do not expand or shrink during the investment casting process.
The S325 is capable of 0.001-inch layer thicknesses, with accuracies of 0.005 inches. Overall, as a specialized 3D printer for jewelry, Solidscape have a rich history in jewelry 3D printing and can be trusted to deliver high-quality and precise ring wax models, time and time again.
*One of our trusted partners will be in touch following a quote request.
5 — EnvisionTEC D4K Pro Jewelry 3D printer
- Jewelry 3D printer price: Requires a quote
- Build volume: 148 x 83 x 110 mm
Described by EnvisionTEC are the highest resolution professional-grade desktop 3D printer, as well as claiming to have the fastest speed, the D4K is well suited to jewelry 3D printing. Speed and accuracy are key to jewelry production, with the printer’s 4K UV DLP projector able to create crisp wax models at speed to be cast into stunning jewelry pieces.
EnvisionTEC are the originators of DLP 3D printing, having pioneered the process more than a decade ago. Now, their advanced D4K Pro can produce accuracies of up to 25 microns in the XY resolution, and 1 micron on the Z axis.
The jewelry 3D printer works well with EnvisionTEC’s WIC100 Series wax material, used to then burn out and investment cast precious jewelry. Though it’s an industrial 3D printer costing over $10,000, larger jewelers will find the D4K one of the best 3D jewelry mold printers.
*One of our trusted partners will be in touch following a quote request.
Advantages of owning a jewelry 3D printer
- Saves money long term: rather than paying a 3D printing service $20+ to print your mold for you, you can print your own wax jewelry molds for just a dollar each.
- Control your own jewelry production: with the ability to print jewelry in-house, you control your own workflow and apart from resin shortages, cannot be slowed down by supplier failures. Your order will always be top priority.
- Fast: going from CAD model to a piece ready to be investment cast is quick, especially when you can print and cast everything in one place.
- Very accurate: precise, smooth and intricate jewelry is not an issue for jewelry 3D printers, some able to print with below 10-micron accuracy to capture your ring’s most delicate and beautiful features.
- Repeatable and scalable: 3D printers for jewelry can create potentially dozens of identical or customized ring molds at once, perfect for scalable jewelry production.