Jewelry Tech and Treats


Using Technology to Create Your Dream Jewelry

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Creating jewelry requires patience and accuracy. Mass producing jewelry has allowed for easier and cost effective distribution, but at the cost of domestic jobs and sometimes, decreased quality.

Over the past decade, developments in 3 D printers along with CAD-CAM (computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing) make it possible to accurately interpret customized jewelry designs down to the smallest details.

Drawings with computer enhanced detail are printed into three dimensional prototypes. From here, jewelers and designers are able to create the latest in unique and custom designed jewelry.

The Shapeways video below demonstrates a small corner of 3D printing applications for jewelry design.


Conventional methods of wax carving and casting are arduous, time consuming and don’t allow for the precision of design that these innovative applications offer.

Jewelry depicting city skylines, chemistry molecule models that are worn as jewelry,  Super Hero and science fiction inspired jewelry and wearable works of art showcase the unlimited possibilities with 3D printing.


Exciting Observations

Through email, industry peer, jewelry writer and jewelry specialist, Caylee Kozak, shared her insights on the changes 3D printing and CAD-CAM is making on all aspects of jewelry design.

“3D printing is a tool that both designers and their clients will find incredibly helpful. For the designer, creating a physical prototype will allow for better and more accurate designs, less time spent in fixing mistakes or changes from the customer, and of course, a reproducible model essentially on demand. The time and money saved by printing right on the bench top can also allow a designer and/or store owner to expand their custom business, bringing in more happy clients who are ultimately better served with quality design and production.”

Traditionally, custom designing jewelry has been risky. 3D Printing removes doubt and clarifies design detail for both the jeweler and customers.

[bctt tweet=”3D printing puts creativity and confidence back into custom jewelry design. Jewelry Navigator” username=”@jewrlynavig8r”]

Dragonfly wings ring in palladium and real Pure Grown synthetic diamonds.

Dragonfly wings ring in palladium and real Pure Grown synthetic diamonds, Paul Michael Design

Mistakes and miscommunication of custom jewelry design are addressed as Caylee points out,
“For the client, 3D printed models are the best way to “try before you buy,” which for custom jewelry was previously impossible. Although 3D CAD rendering capabilities have grown extensively, it is still a challenge to translate a beautiful image into the look and feel of a real piece of jewelry. When making decisions about style and comfort, the ability to try on a version or versions of the final piece prior to making an even great financial commitment gives the client and the designer peace of mind and confidence in the purchase.”

Time for Show and Tell!

The jewelers and artists featured here show exemplary skills as they’ve evolved with the benefits these new tech tools offer. As a result, the time saved gives them opportunity to create jewelry you won’t find in commercial settings.

Paul Michael Design
Blows Away Our Expectations
star wars r2d2 inspired jewelry

R2D2 droid inspired halo engagement ring, by Paul Michael Design, prices starting at $1495


Paul Michael Design has been adding 3D printing and CAD-CAM design into the aspects of their designs to bring their customers exactly what they ask for.

In his Pittsburgh studio, Paul Bierker and his associates at Paul Michael Design are able to create custom pieces spot on to their customer’s requests. The emotional connections to the designs can often mean as much as the finished piece.

Front side- invisible channel set hand cut sapphire and diamond engagement ring

Custom designed engagement ring by Paul Michael Design


Paul is commissioned from all over the world to create meaningful jewelry transcending distance and logistics. features Paul Michael Design showing how emotional relevance and connection enhances the meaning of jewelry for him and his clients.


A pioneer of 3D printing and CAD-CAM jewelry design, Paul has added each new application to his skill set to update and enhance his design abilities to create bespoke and custom jewelry pieces.

He continues to effortlessly take our wishes from ideas to treasures, all while defying design boundaries.


Flipping for 3D Printed Jewelry with Somersault1824



somersault 1824 fibonacci necklace





Somersault18:24 is an Etsy shop run by a husband and wife team of scientists turned jewelry artists. They create models of the microscopic cells and molecular structures we’ve all seen in our science classes.

Get happy wearing a serotonin molecule necklace!

Get happy wearing a serotonin molecule necklace!

Need a pick me up?

caffeine jewelry

Wear a caffeine or serotonin molecule!
Most pieces starting at $106

They’re passionate about science education, so they support funding for it through part of their jewelry sales.

They state on their Etsy site, “We at somersault18:24 believe in the synergy of art and science – a rare combination. We aim to unite these two disciplines; to inspire creativity and create awareness bringing science to a wider audience. Together, we can achieve this by your purchase – part of the profits will fund our scientific endeavors. So enjoy our fine jewelry and wear it knowing that you’ve been part of a noble cause.”


Melissa Borrell Creates Wearable Art


3D printed ring by Melissa Borrell

3D printed sculptural ring by Melissa Borrell, starts at $55





Artist, sculptor, designer and jeweler, Melissa Borrell creates jewelry, home accessories and sculptural art.

She creates jewelry that’s fun to wear from whimsical to sophisticated.



Melissa seamlessly merges architectural influence using 3D printing techniques to create jewelry that is wearable art, as well as her intriguing artwork.

Pop Out Pendant, prices start at $39, Melissa Borrell


Image: Melissa Borrell

Laser cutting and 3D printing applications are used to create Melissa Borrell’s Pop Out Jewelry and sculptural jewelry.


Melissa earned her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. After creating jewelry and art in several studios across the country, she has returned to her home state of Texas, and creates from her studio in Austin.

You can find Melissa at to shop or learn more about her art and designs.

3D Printing Coming to Your City

Are you homesick for your hometown? Did you take an amazing vacation, and the city line was etched on your heart? Check out this jewelry designed and inspired by cities from all over the world!


Ola Shekhtman, artist, goldsmith, designer and jeweler creates Cityscape jewelry. Rings are customized bands with iconic buildings from the cities they represent.


City Scape rings

City Scape rings by Ola Shekhtman-click the picture above to shop for your Cityscape ring!

Originally from Russia, Ola lives in Cary, North Carolina with her family. Her shop, Shekhtwoman, is on Etsy. All items are made to order, and delivered within two weeks in your choice of sterling silver, gold or platinum. CityScape pendants and earrings are also available.

The Future of Jewelry Design

Most independent jewelers have access to 3D design and CAD-CAM resources, and others, like Paul Michael Designs, have them in their studios for immediate access.

Conventional bench jewelry design and construction will always be the fundamental base of jewelry making skills. How willing a jeweler is to implement the benefits of 3D printing may determine a jeweler’s success and longevity.

Show or tell us your 3D printed jewelry adventures!