Introduction: Bronze Heart Necklace | Collier-un-bronze
For more than 2 years, I have wanted an electric furnace to make my own jewelleries. But when I saw the price of the furnace coupled to the price of the other tools I needed, my motivation went away (passing over all the other steps before and after like preparing the mould, polishing the pendant ...)
But one day, as I was randomly surfing on the internet I found THE article by Justin LAM https://www.justinmklam.com/posts/2019/diy-wedding.... In this article, I found out that I didn't actually need all these tools because some companies could shape my jewellery. He was indeed explaining how he managed to make his wife a ring for their engagement. Justin basically drew the ring, sent it to the company and there he was, they manufactured the ring ! At that time, I didn't know such a thing actually existed but yeah, some companies actually do this job for individuals like you and me, .
With this idea in my head, I started sketching a necklace to gift to my girlfriend (as you can see her name is Marine). I chose to use bronze material, because it's not very common for jewelleries and I liked the color.
To make it clearer, on picture 1, let me tell you that it's not my girlfriend, it's my cat and her name is Mimi. Sadly, I could not offer the pendant to my girlfriend due to coronavirus, so I took my cat as a model (she was not really enjoying herself but she couldn't escape ^^).
- An idea (you can pick mine if you find it cool ^^)
- Some money (teaser : see how much it costed me on step 4)
- Some mecanical CAO skills (not a lot trust me)
- A string for the necklace
- A computer and nothing more
- A 3D printer or a printer
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Step 1: Designing It on a CAO Software
For this, I used Fusion 360 because this software has a friendly interface. It's pretty easy to draw something with geometrical forms even if you are a beginner. You'll find a lot a tutorials online if you want to start modelization using Fusion 360.
You will find the .stl file below. This is the one I used but this one doesn't include the text ^^. You can open it with your CAO software. Then, you can just add the text that you want.
Step 2: Optional Print It
When your design is done and if you want to have a preview to get a clearer idea of the size and shape, you can try 3D-printing it. If you don't have a 3D printer but you have a normal printer, you can have a preview of the size by printing the sketch on a sheet of paper.
When you are happy with your design, just drag and drop it on the manufacturer's website (the one of your choice) and order it.
Step 3: Choose Your Manufacturer
I found a website called Craftcloud, it compares manufacturers and it could help you chosing the one you like the best https://print.all3dp.com/
As for me, I chose to make my pendant on Shapeways (but I could have tried another website). Yet, I found that the interface was pretty amazing, it was very clear and easy to understand, I had the price, material... immediately.
Using Shapeways, I also had the possibility to sell my own product with their website (I haven't tried yet). On the video right below, you will see the steps done by Shapeways to make your jewellery.
However, some shapes are not possible to realise. The following guide will help you knowing what you can/can't do with their 25 available materials https://www.shapeways.com/materials.
Step 4: Key Figures
It's time for some interesting stuff !
What about the price ?
As you know, I bought this pendant on Shapeways and here are the details concerning the price.
I live in France and the company is settled in the USA so I had to pay for some fees (shipping, VAT) that people from the USA wouldn't have paid.
- Brass material : 16.39€
- Finishing touches (polish): + 6.56€
- Processing : + 1.15€
- Economy shipping : +15.29€
- VAT 20% : + 6.57€
- Total : 39.39€
- In the USA the total price would have been : 26.45€
What about the delay ?
- I ordered the pendant on Febuary 12th
- I received the parcel on February 24th
- Total delivery time to reach France : 12 days
What about the delivery?
The pendant came in a cardboard box with a lot of bubble wrap (see picture 1). Inside this box was a little bag with my design. The bag was indeed quite high-end which means that you don't need any other packaging to offer the design.
What about the quality ?
One word : just WAOUWW !!
For a 1st order, I chose not to go with the overcomplicated stuff because I didn't really know what their work was like. I also didn't know if the text on the back would look good as it was a bit too detailed but the result was pretty decent. I also checked the dimensions of the necklace (see picture 3) and it was approximately what I ordered with -0.3mm (certainly because of the polishing process, but I'm not sure).
Step 5: Offer, Explain and Enjoy !
To me, the beauty of this gift lies in the making process. The beauty is to explain all the steps you went through, it was made by you and by a manufacturer. It makes this gift very meaningful. Of course, I will show this Instructables to my girlfriend when I offer her the pendant.
Mimi was really enjoying herself I can tell you !
Have a nice day !
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