With 3D-printers now available at many a designer’s disposal, the race is on for the most fantastical and extravagant of pieces but what to do if you’re of an impatient nature? Well, you could try taking note of this jewellery range for starters.
Created by Chinese designer Xinran Lu, jewellery brand XiN already boasts three collections that have all been 3D-printed in London and which are now available to buy and wear, with prices ranging from £400 to £8,000.
The ‘Shan-Shi’ collection (pictured) – translates as ‘Mountain Lion’ in Chinese, features bold, intricate but minimalist shapes along with luminous gemstones and diamonds that have a mesmerising effect on anyone who catches sight of it. Each piece is designed digitally before being 3D-printed, coated in precious metals and hand-finished with any precious stones added along the way. Here, Xinran gives us some insight into the process behind creating the pieces in his collection.
“When I finish a digital model, I send it to the 3D printing workshop. Once I have the 3D printing wax model back, I check the quality and detail before deciding which metal should be used and send the model to casting. When the piece is casted out into metal, I check the form – if there are any blemishes, I’ll have to re-start the printing, however, if everything is good, I’ll move on to the finishing. All the surfaces that need to be polished or stone-set are marked and communicated to the technician along with steps for the finishing. For some of the statement pieces, I’ll do some filing and polishing work myself.”
“It takes more than 10 hours to print a wax model in the size of the Shan-Shi signature ring. For some of bigger models, like the bracelet, it takes more than 20 hours.
Hand-finishing a plain metal piece takes three to four weeks and pieces with gemstones need an additional two to three weeks.”
“3D printing is very accurate – it can generate complicated forms that hand-making cannot achieve. The most complicated piece so far is the statement bracelet featuring four lion heads and a new type of opening-catch.”
See the full collection at xinjewellery.com.