Picture of 3D Printed Spiral Earrings
3D printers can do anything. I wanted to make a present for a friend, and she loves earrings, so I decided on some fancy ones I designed and was able to 3D printed! They are a great gift! This instructable covers the steps to design one with a 3D modeling program, but I will also discuss several ways to make them unique. Anyways they look great and are very lightweight. I think the natural PLA filament type looks the best, it's a little tough to tell from the pictures but they reflect a lot of light. I would also like to thank my sister for modeling them.

I was fortunate enough to be able to use a Makerbot Replicator 2 to build them, and you can see a time lapse of it below.

A basic knowledge of the 3D modelling program you will use is highly recommended. Watching whatever tutorials/examples they offer will probably be plenty. I used Autodesk Inventor 2013.


Step 1: Base Shape and Preparations

Picture of Base Shape and Preparations
The first thing that needs to be chosen is the base shape for your earring. I used a circle to keep things simple. To start make a 2D sketch of your base shape in your 3D CAD program. See my picture for help.
Second Prize! Congratulations!
husamwadi2 years ago
Woah, that's awesome! I never knew you could use a circular pattern on a lofted shape???!!! That's some good info!

I guess that I could make cuff links using the same process no? This would also be great for a gear shifter cover design!

Thanks, and good luck in your competition!
Patrick S (author)  husamwadi2 years ago
Yep! Check out my 'ible about 3D printing a rollerblade and I do some crazy lofts to make the boot, but yeah loft allows you to do basically anything. Cuff links and a gear shifter cover are definitely doable. Thanks!
geppetto4252 years ago
Well, I appreciate this cool new technology and appreciate all the work that goes into making something. But these look like something from the dollar store! You guys need to figure out how to make this stuff look attractive...
Oh snap dude...TOLD!
Patrick S (author)  geppetto4252 years ago
Well that's the beauty of this 'ible because it shows you how to design your own so you can make one that you think 'looks attractive'.
ella102 years ago
I love this!!!! So inspiring. About how much do 3D printers cost? Where can someone buy one?
Patrick S (author)  SaintSalvage2 years ago
There's a huge range in price for them but most home owned ones are in the $1500-2500 range. You can find them pretty easily online, but apparently Staples carries them in store now. You can also have a company like Shapeways print something for you and if you only print a few things it is a lot cheap than buying a 3d printer.
Cool. Thanks. I checked on staples. Here's one:
cpaterson12 years ago
really nice, beautiful effect !!
Patrick S (author)  cpaterson12 years ago
Very fun! I've always wanted to try to design 3D Printed jewelry! Thanks for the tutorial :)
Patrick S (author)  Penolopy Bulnick2 years ago
Thanks, and you should it's a lot of fun!
lindarose922 years ago
I love the design and the material you used seems really beautiful too! :)
Patrick S (author)  lindarose922 years ago
Aww, why thank you!