Shapeways, the 3D printing marketplace service, has launched a new Gold Plated Brass material that is perfect for those selling jewelry designs.
After launching the Premium Silver material several months ago Shapeways have upped the bling factor and produces a material that looks just like solid gold. For jewelry designers 3D printing is the perfect production process to produce their intricate ideas and Shapeways now provides them with both silver and gold options which replicate traditional jewelry materials.
Objects are not printed in brass or gold but are created in a 5 step process through a lost-was molding process, in a similar way to the premium silver material. There’s no laser sintering of gold or silver yet.
The 3D model is high resolution 3D printed in wax, then put in a container where it is coated in liquid plaster. After the plaster sets the wax is melted out leaving a plaster mold. Molten brass is poured into the mold and after it has hardened the plaster is broken away to reveal the solid object. After cleaning and polishing the piece is electroplated with a thin later of nickel and an final layer of 24K gold, which has a bright shine.
Shapeways are offering Gold Plated Brass as a one month trial until August 25th to allow them to test it out with designers and they say any object that works with Premium Silver is ideal for Gold Plated Brass. Objects in this material will cost $35 per cm3, which is not much more than the silver materials that they already offer.