Metal supplier introduces 3D printer for jewelry
March 12, 2014
This bangle was designed by Towe Norlen of Towe Jewels and produced through the direct metal laser sintering process using the 3D printer at Cooksongold.
New York--U.K.-based Cooksongold, a global supplier of fabricated precious metals, has announced a strategic partnership with consultancy firm A3DM Technologies to bring the 3D printing of precious metals to customers in North America.
The new partnership debuted at this year’s MJSA Expo New York, which concluded Tuesday.
Cooksongold is launching the M 080 direct metal laser sintering machine along with its associated precious metal powders in partnership with Electro Optical Systems (EOS), which has been heavily involved in the 3D printing of metal products.
The 3D printing is currently available for jewelry designs in 18-karat yellow and red gold, and will include sterling silver and 18-karat white gold by the end of the calendar year.
For years, 3D printing has been confined to certain industries, such as medical manufacturing, said A3DM President Steven Adler, but over the past few years Cooksongold has been developing machines especially for precious metals.
“The main difference with these is that (the machines) are capturing every single pieces of metal for use,” he said. The M 080 was designed to contain the powder so that metal is contained and loss is minimized.
They expect to be able to deliver any orders of the machines and accompanying metal powder to customers in North America by November. Adler wouldn’t give National Jeweler a specific price, but said that interested customers can reach out to them for more information.
They’re targeting different facets of the jewelry industry with the M 080 machine, according to Adler, including jewelry manufacturers, retailers and designers.
They also hope to have a service bureau in place by December, for customers to send their designs via digital files for Cooksongold to produce.
Until then, Adler, who is Cooksongold’s contact in the market, will focus on education events this spring to help manufacturers, retailers and jewelry designers understand the benefits of the machine and the kinds of designs that are possible with the new technology “that couldn’t be made before,” Adler said, such as hollow objects and designs that couldn’t be cast because they were too thin.
Adler said they received a positive response to their 3D printer at the MJSA Expo, especially from companies involved in fine jewelry who are excited about the opportunities to make pieces in 18-karat gold.
“With reliable and consistent precious metal powders now available from Cooksongold, we are at the advent of a new era in providing direct manufacture of 3D precious metal products,” Adler said. “The Cooksongold-EOS development of a turn-key solution for direct printing of precious metals will enable designers to produce unique luxury products unconstrained by conventional production techniques.”
For more information or to place an order, customers can reach out to Adler at firstname.lastname@example.org.