Silver Spray-Chromed Nylon SLS Jewellery


Charlotte Asherson came to see Dovydas Pocius at D2W with some basic CAD files and sketches of shapes for an extensive project of jewellery designs . During her initial consultation, she explained that she had tried to produce one of her designs using traditional jewellery and silversmithing techniques, but the process proved to be too expensive and she wasn’t satisfied with a final result. She had some basic understanding of 3D printing and thought this might be a more satisfactory method for realising her designs. You can see some of the sketches produced during this part of the process by viewing the gallery.

CAD and Design Refinement 

Charlotte wanted her collection to look masculine and heavy, and also had a few specific stone setting methods in mind such as tension setting and channel setting. Making the collection from precious metal wasn’t that important.

Initially Charlotte had wondered if she might 3D Print her designs, have them investment cast in silver, and then have them polished and the set stones set within. Dovydas did some simple calculations that revealed that if produced in this way, one of her designs would weigh over 4.5 kg in sterling silver.

Not only would that be extremely expensive, but it would also render the piece unwearable due to its extreme weight. This obviously caused her to change her mind. Weight and substance in a piece of jewellery is often nice, but that would be excessive!

3D Printing

All the components for the entire collection were produced using D2W’s Nylon Container System.

The collection eventually comprised of 20 different objects including a head piece, necklaces,earrings, bangles,and rings. As nearly all of the finished pieces were made up of separate components and the collection also included pieces of varying sizes, Dovydas managed to pack the containers very efficiently so that it became a fast, efficient and economical way of realising Charlotte’s collection from the digital data.

Final Finishing Processes

Firstly, the Nylon SLS had to be primed and sanded to receive the finish coat.

Secondly, to achieve a metallic finish on the helmet-like headpiece, the Nylon SLS was spray coated with silver paint.

http://www.astrachrome.co.uk/en/what-we-do/

Dovydas knew that to set stones in coated nylon could be difficult and leave them insecurely set, so it was agreed that any elements of Charlotte’s design that were to have stones set in them, would be investment cast in silver. Dovydas devised a special channel, for these specific silver elements in order make the setting of the stones relatively straightforward and secure.

In order to achieve a better casting result, and to make the cleaning and polishing of the eventual silver cast easier, the parts were also vibro-finished to smooth the surface of the Nylon SLS so that less polishing of the silver cast would be required.

Charlotte was so happy with this initial piece that she decided to produce the entire collection in the same way.

The channels were printed in Nylon SLS and then cast into sterling silver. In order to achieve a better casting result,  and to make cleaning and polishing  easier, the parts were Vibro-Finished to improve and smooth the surface .

Charlotte liked this design element so much that we end up using for all her designs and even on its own.

To see more of Charlotte Asherson’s 2300 project and other Jewellery designs visit her website:

www.charlotteasherson.com

X