The jewelry industry prides itself on creating a vast array of beautiful and elegant pieces of art cherished by their owners. Humanity’s deep desire to wear ornate jewelry dates back at least 100,000 years, when the earliest forms of shell jewelry discovered by archaeologists in Africa are dated. If these first jewels are of rather simple elaboration, they nevertheless present the complex and elegant touches of refinement that one finds in the current models.
In the modern world of jewelry, precision technologies and sophisticated design methods are commonly employed to create these aesthetic objects. This article introduces some of the main technological elements that allow jewelry artists around the world to create their masterpieces.
Computer Aided Design
Over the past few decades, there has been an increase in the use of computer-aided design (CAD) software in the early stages of jewelry design. Using CAD applications in the design process produces an accurate scale three-dimensional model of the future finished article. This digital model can then be saved and the information loaded into a three-dimensional printer, another technology recently introduced to the jewelry industry to design prototypes.
The latter offer the possibility of producing an actual model of the ornament in materials such as wax or plastic. This accurately captures the appearance of the final article while overcoming any potential problems related to the prototypes.
Jewelry consumers increasingly want their items to be unique. For example, it is common today for couples planning to get married to request personalized messages inside their engagement or wedding rings. These personal touches can be made by jewelry experts using laser engraver technology.
These laser engraving machines are designed to offer high precision marking on small jewelry items such as rings and chains in a way that simply could not be achieved by the human hand. Laser technology is therefore widely used in the jewelry industry to achieve impeccable marking and text.
Modern laser engraving equipment is linked to existing design applications to enable a seamless process from the design of the markings to their incorporation into the final product.
Another relatively new trend in jewelry making is the use of technology and equipment to design and create new and intricate styles of bracelets and chains. Previously, the development of chains and bracelets was based on the use of precious materials linked together as components of the whole. Thanks to crimping technology, it is now possible to join many wires in a helical way to obtain a complex cabled finish. The materials used for this can range from semi-precious metals to gold, and “weaving” together strands of distinct colors can be breathtaking.
Future developments in jewelry technology
So it’s clear that since its beginnings over 100,000 years ago, the jewelry industry has truly embraced technology and used it to create and produce intricate works of art. Computer-aided design is now a staple in the toolbox of jewelry designers, but what does the future of technology hold in the world of jewelry?
Selective laser sintering is a technological development that is still in its infancy. Although not yet fully established in the industry, it offers a glimpse into the next generations of jewelry design. It is essentially an advancement of three-dimensional printers. While manufacturers use plastics or composite materials to create three-dimensional prototypes of rings and chains, the laser sintering process fuses powdered precious metals layer by layer to produce the shape and texture of the item. finished.
It is also possible to create complex elements, such as hinges, using this technology, although at present the costs associated with these processes are high.