Jewelry is a domain that involves working with precious materials, and requires precise modeling at a very small scale. This is a laborious process that depends on the highly trained professionals skills. Therefore the computational environment has become attractive for jewelers; there are already many 3D printers that print either wax molds or silver jewelry with a high resolution, but at a high cost.
The DIGITAL_SILVER jewelry collection explores how computational design and digital fabrication processes can transform the silver craft. The intention was to preserve a traditional process of casting silver, but to change the method by which the mold is obtained. Thus we used 3D printed models with a lower resolution and more affordable materials.
The fabrication comprised two stages; the first was the low-resolution 3D printing with ABS or PLA, and the second the silver casting, which used as molds these 3d printed objects. Casting silver traditionally uses a wax mold, and then the negative is made, to be used for casting. Over the wax piece is poured plaster, and then inserted into the oven for the plaster to harden. In the furnace the wax is melting and after the plaster has hardened, the silver is pored during a centrifugation process to reach all points of the object.
By using as a mold these 3d printed objects, the layers are more prominent, and we tested how these affect the silver final object. Professional jewelry printers focus on the replication of the digital model, with very thin layers. In our process, the layers that remain visible on the resulted object and reveal the process by which it was made.