Introduction: Create Your Own Engagement Ring and SAVE MONEY?

Picture of Create Your Own Engagement Ring and SAVE MONEY?

Today you’ll learn how to create your own one of a kind engagement ring. This same process can be used for any jewelry including wedding bands.

I recently got engaged and had to go through the ups and downs of trying to purchase an engagement ring. For those that haven’t had go through this process, it can be very frustrating and expensive. In fact it took me about a year of shopping around before I gathered the knowledge ill be presenting in this “Instructable”. And it’s as simple as this, designing your own ring is not only unique, creative, romantically personalized, and fun, but it’s also allot less expensive. So much so, that I saved about $3,450 dollars in the setting alone and paid about 1/3rd the overall retail price for the ring set.... got your attention now :)

So lets get started….

Step 1: Design Your Ring

Picture of Design Your Ring

Browse around online and figure out what you like, and or what you think your significant other would like. You can find different rings and combined them together using programs like photo shop or design your ring from scratch. Basically what you’re looking for is to have a solid front facing image of your ring. You could even draw it on a napkin if you want.

Note: You will want to take note of how the stones are sitting and secured in the ring. For example: if it has prongs or not. You’ll also need to know roughly the size of the center stone you’re planning on getting, i.e. don’t fall in love with a design that has a 5 karat stone if your planning on a 1 karat.

Break down of cost

THE SETTING: In store sellers and designers have a huge mark up on their settings and most of that cost contributes to the designer’s name, when in actually it should only be reflecting the cost of materials. Which is exactly what you get, designing it yourself

Designer ring

Retails at $4300 plus tax.


My Designed ring

Out the door about$700

-90%- cost of material

-10%- labor

(reference image above, please note: this is not including the center stone)


THE DIAMOND “where your money should go”

From my experience, a Vintage diamond was the way to go. You get an amazingly priced, uniquely hand cut stone (maybe 40% cheaper than with a newly cut, store bought stone).

No matter which route you choose, do your research, the more places you go, the more you know, the more educated a decision you’ll make.

Step 2: Model Your Ring

Picture of Model Your Ring

All right you have a design and diamond in mind, its time to model your ring. I used Maya, a 3d animation/modeling software…other programs, Free learning editions, and tutorials can be found online.

I’m going to give a quick over view of my process, however if you’ve never modeling in a 3d program before, I would suggest looking up tutorials online for “basic modeling”, in the program of your choice.

1) Check your unit size in your program and confirm its set to “millimeters”.

2) Load your ring picture into the program.

3) Next is to determine the diameter of the ring size. Using online conversion tables (reference picture above), you’ll find the ring size conversion to the inner diameter in millimeters. You’ll then create a 3d cylinder in the modeling program to that dimension. Effectively creating a model of the fingers and its diameter to build around.

4) You’ll then scale the image to fit around the size of the cylinder. This way everything you model, matching to the image, is relevant to the actual unit size in the program. (reference pictures above)

5) Next you’ll model your ring. Depending on how complex your design and your skill set in the program, that will determine how long this process will take but it could be as simple as 20 mins for something like a “solitaire” ring.

6) Finally, export out your model as a .STL, and its ready to print. (reference pictures above)


Step 3: 3D Print Your Ring

Picture of 3D Print Your Ring

The next step will be to 3d print your model. I highly suggest a site call 3dhubs.com, which is very user-friendly site that connects you to 3dprinting professionals around the world. Basically load your model, choose a material, and find a printer. The coolest thing about this is you’ll be able to print your 3d model in “Castable Risen”, meaning the 3d print can be used (like a wax mold) to make the final cast of your ring. It can also support almost any level of detail and quality. This is a very affordable process so if you want to rework your design once you have it in hand, this is a safe time to do so with minimal cost.


The supports around the ring are there to allow the metal to reach every crevasse when casting, as well as support the ring during the 3d printing process… You, or your 3d hub specialist can add these at any point before the print, very simple geometry, with a very thin contact point. Leave them on for the caster. The caster can also add this after the fact as well.

Step 4: Cast Your Ring

Once you have the final 3d printed ring, the next step is to take it to a caster, where your risen ring will be use to make a mold. The risen cast will then be melted away to leave a cavity impression of your ring. You’ll choose a metal, realistically paying current market value for the metal of your choice, and a slight labor fee ($15 per gram is what I paid for labor, very reasonable). The caster will fill the cavity, and polish/finish the metal, leaving you with a precious metal cast of your ring.

Step 5: Take It to a JEWELER Cause You're Done

Picture of Take It to a JEWELER Cause You're Done

Finally, after casting the ring, purchasing the center stone, and any melee stones (the small stones on the ring), you’ll take it all to a jeweler to put it together.

And there you have it, a one of a kind, heart felt, hand crafted story to start the rest of your life, with that special someone, off right..... or just an awesome way to make your own jewelry.

Thanks for reading this "instructable", if you've enjoyed it please share....

Comments

asergeeva (author)2016-05-27

What a beautiful ring!! It's clear that you put a lot into the design and I'm sure your loved one cherishes it!

punkrockpixiegirl (author)2016-05-23

Hey, I was just wondering what kind of metals you used, and how you got them?

I used white gold and paid market prices for the metal at the caster.

JosephR25 (author)2016-05-24

I always kind of wanted to know how I could diy this. The process definitely takes some intermediate know-how but you laid the steps out nicely. Great job!

kathynv (author)2016-05-21

Thank you for the wonderful instructable, and showing just how a normal person can design a ring that means something very special to both him and his fiancée. I would like to make clear that copying a pattern is a crime and most legitimate jewelers will have nothing to do with it.

However, there is nothing wrong with looking at multiple designs and/or rings for inspiration. Surrounding a large stone with little stones that continue around the band? No copyright on that at all. Making a ring that compares to a popular design to such an extent that you can show it beside a photo of the commercial one for comparison? Definitely a problem.

I love that you did the work and made a beautiful ring for your beloved. As a person who works very hard not to even tippy toe on anyone else's copyright when I design my own jewelry, I wish your design had been more yours. Even so, I think you made a beautiful ring that is probably different enough from the original to evade any problems.

Again thank you so much for posting.

mrkemper (author)kathynv2016-05-21

I can see how the side by side comparison could be miss leading as a compete copy...I was trying to get the same angle and shadowing ....excetra of the picture, just to demonstrate you didn't have to sacrafic in quaity just becuse you did it your self. From that angle, they do look a lot alike but, I promise it's all orginal...I sketched my design, refined the proportions a bunch, and changed the design a million times, and it just so happen to look like this ring from this angle after being edited to so.

Furthermore I'd like to thank you for the professional and respectful constructive critique.

Meglymoo87 (author)2016-05-19

Nice!

Jonathanmontoya (author)2016-05-18

I agree completely. This isn't as much an instructable as is it a lesson on how to A) copy someone else's hard work and B) most of these things are things that take months if not years to learn. This is not a DIY project. Mainly because you have to employ the help of quite a few other people. Also your not talking any value in your time? Your time isn't worthless is it. What about the time it takes to learn these 3-D programs. Find a caster, then find a jeweler who will set the stones. After adding your time and buying a 3-D printer and the software. How much money have you saved? Probably not much. I speak from experience as I purchased a 3-D printer $1600 and that's a bargain. Not to mention buying the software $300-$1200,then materials that go in the printer and etc etc. not to mention time spent finding all of these people to do this work FOR you. You left ALOT out of the process. Depending on others to do certain parts of the process is not really an "instructable". I commend all the time and effort you spent on making this but maybe it beings on a different site. Learn how to do list was casting and carve the wax by hand. It's actually much easier that way. They even have metal clay now that gives you unlimited designs. I just wanted to clarify for those people who think this is busts imply a weekend project or something that will only take a couple of days. Try months. If your lucky.

mrkemper (author)Jonathanmontoya2016-05-19

Thanks for your comment it brings up some good points. I would like to point out that you don't need to purchase a 3d printer, the 3dhubs website connects you to 3d printing professionals and mail the prints to you... All the professionals I found, in regards to casting and a jeweler, I found fairly easy with a few phone calls. Finally the 3d modeling and design for a ring as complex as mine, can be time consuming, but that's where the time and effort of making something unique comes into play. The effort is kinda the whole point.

If you wanted to you could learn the most basic modeling steps and create a solitar ring model over a weekend easy, it would take a few days to print from 3dhubs...find a diamond (as quick a process as you want it to be though I'd suggest taking your time), find a caster, find a jeweler...done

It took me longer trying to find the perfect ring in the stores or even online...that's what drove me to want to design my own ring.

Nerod70 (author)2016-05-19

Hi!
Thank you for the Instructable, that's a beautiful work and a way to avoid to pay the ridicoules prices the disigners tag their jobs.
Of course there will jealoussy and bad comments, but they come from the ones who use to rip ours pockets.
Thank you again for had the time to teach us how to please ours loved ones when you can't or have the money but still willing to try and learn.
Sheers.!!!

PamG10 (author)2016-05-18

I'm sorry but what I see here is that you've taken a designers intellectual property and outright copied it. You also state that the designer is not at all deserving of compensation for their work! It is fine to want to design you own UNIQUE piece, AND you have the skills, but what you did was to enlist professionals to do the main part of the work for you. I find this instructable both insulting and disturbing, and as a jewelry artisan should I ever see one of my own designs copied, please be prepared for a lawsuit, as you may find yourself in the middle of, should the designer of the ring that you used discover this.

raenic32 (author)PamG102016-05-18

Designs are replicated all the time. There are no copyright laws on designs as they are imaginative ideas. If that were the case, a simple heart shape, or the shape of a cabachon would be off limits. If a person can find a way to avoid paying ridiculous prices for something that will be for personal use what is the harm? Of all the horror in the world today, this is what you find disturbing.

Jonathanmontoya (author)raenic322016-05-18

Incorrect. Try coping a Tiffany's tag. See how far you get. Just using the blue color for your packaging will land you in court.

Jonathanmontoya (author)PamG102016-05-18

I agree completely. This isn't as much an instructable as is it a lesson on how to A) copy someone else's hard work and B) most of these things are things that take months if not years to learn. This is not a DIY project. Mainly because you have to employ the help of quite a few other people. Also your not talking any value in your time? Your time isn't worthless is it. What about the time it takes to learn these 3-D programs. Find a caster, then find a jeweler who will set the stones. After adding your time and buying a 3-D printer and the software. How much money have you saved? Probably not much.

mrkemper (author)PamG102016-05-18

It was not my intent to insult or belittle designers at all, in fact I wanted to encourage people to get their creative juices flowing and design something "unique and one of a kind" as stated in my intro and step 1.

My ring shares similarities with the sample ring (like a twist and a halo) and I take it as a complement you think they're close enough to be copies, but my profile is 100% unique and my own. In fact that's what drove me to create my own design, cause I couldn't find anything I liked.

Just to clarify to all reading my instructable... I do not endorse direct duplicates. The whole point is to have fun making it unique.

mrkemper (author)2016-05-18

Wow what an awesome compliment, thank you.

I had never done anything like this and now I can't wait for my next project.

silvertinkerer (author)2016-05-18

As a professional jeweler I was questioning as to how well this instructable was going to be. I can say nicely done. Would love to see more instructable on this quality. As a jeweler without in house casting I may start doing items like this myself.

ThomasH173 (author)2016-05-18

where did you go or recmended for casting the ring?

SaraB108 (author)2016-05-17

great idea not only for engagement but for mother's day, graduation and more. I can see myself doing an anniversary ring already

ClenseYourPallet (author)2016-05-17

Well done sir. Beautiful ring

Thank you good sir