This is basically a PSA.
What this tutorial does not cover :-
- How to design, there are many tutorial on that subject.
- How to fabricate your ring at home.
- How to finish your ring.
What this tutorial covers :-
- The most efficient, no nonsense and economical way to get your CAD design realised in precious metal.
- That is all, it is advice only (I can cover the other subjects at a later date, if there is demand).
What bonus do I get :-
- The .stl file covered in the tutorial, no charge, just give me credit if you use it for commercial purposes. If you claim credit for this design as your own work... beware I will get very angry.
Step 1: I Have My CAD File What Do I Do Now.
You need to find a jewellery quality printing house.
The printed items are expensive, but they do save you clean up time at the end.
If you used your own CAD and not the one provided you will need to make sure the model is water tight, meaning no unexpected holes in the model.
Imagine a sealed hollow box. The printing programs is a surface printer. So if that hollow box has a hole in it the surface area is increased to include the inside of the box... it doesn't work.
Your model is ready to print. If you need to resize the ring for your finger, the printing house can do this for a nominal fee, sometimes free.
Step 2: What's Next?
Usually printing houses have a deal with a jewellery casting house, so if anything goes wrong with the casting house another wax can be printed, and recast at their expense.
At this point all the metal casters will be screaming, "but I can cast this at home!"
This is a very true statement, but when you are talking 18ct yellow gold, it will cost you at least 3 to 4 times the price the casting house will charge you.
The reason for this is that when you cast metal you need 3 to 4 times the weight of metal for the casting button. When the casting house casts your ring, they only charge you for the gold used for the ring and a casting fee, they keep the scrap.
"Ha!", says the home caster. "I can use the scrap myself for other projects".
Again this is true, but it means you always have a lump of gold sitting around doing nothing.
Gold is expensive.
If there is anything wrong with the casting from a jewellery casting house they will recast at their expense, not yours.
Step 3: Is That It?
In a word... "Yes".
There will be very little cleanup, and a quick polish will have your new ring on your finger.