Spring & Wonder, with the help of 3D-printing giant Shapeways, has taken the idea of customizing jewelry and made it easier, and more accessible, to those of us without metalwork prowess (or a shit ton of coin to drop on custom pieces).
The jewelry brand recently launched with a plethora of simple, minimal designs that are customizable by size, shape, and material. You can choose from a bunch of different styles of rings, necklaces, or earrings. In one pass, you can get initials on signet rings, nameplate necklaces, zodiac earrings, and more in the makeup of your choosing.
I chose to get a simple signet ring with a lowercase “j” in bronze that fits on my middle finger. It’s hefty, unlike a lot of other 3D-printed items I’ve come across. It feels, without too much effort, like an expensive piece of jewelry. That’s because the way it’s made is more in line with how traditional jewelry is crafted than how a piece of machinery is printed.
First, your design is sent to the Shapeways team, who take the design and print a wax mold of it. That mold is then wrapped in plaster to create a cast of your piece. After the plaster sets, it’s then ready for the molten metal to be poured. The finished piece of jewelry is then polished and ready to be shipped to you.
All-in-all it took about two weeks from the time I placed my order to the time it was shipped, and then just a few days to arrive to me. It’s pretty insane, considering it all starts out as just a digital rendering that you can then wear for years and years.