Shapeways, the 3D printing service, has just announced that they are adding Premium Silver to their list of materials. This new material will be on a size week trial until Tuesday May 14th, after which it will be decided if it becomes a permanent material option.
The new Premium Silver takes their existing Sterling Silver to a whole new level with additional manual polishing processes. Shapeways offers many different 3D printer material options which can be chosen as an finished material for the projects hosted on the site. The range of materials includes plastics, ceramics, stainless steel and full color sandstone.
The Premium Silver option is particularly suited to jewelry, such as in the photo above, and other high-end items. There are hundreds of different jewelry products listed on Shapeways and many will be suitable for the new silver material option.
3D printed silver items are created with a lost-wax casting process that uses a high-resolution 3D wax printer. After the wax model is printed, the wax model is cast in plaster. Molten silver is poured in the plaster mold, the wax then melts out and after the silver sets, the silver object remains.
There are several important guidelines that must be followed when designing a piece of jewelry for Premium Silver 3D printing, mainly concerned with details that can be lost during the polishing process. During the trial Premium Silver is offered at $28 (up to 3.4 cm3), $75 (above 3.4 cm3) - prices are per cm3.