Dip Dyed Nylon SLS Jewellery using D2W Container System

Rebecca Wilkes was able to make fantastic use of our Nylon SLS Container system for her final degree project at Birmingham City University’s Jewellery School. Rebecca first encountered us when she visited our studio on one of our Studio Visits for design courses in November 2015.

Her project, Floral Focus, consisted of interchangeable and customisable rings and chain mail necklaces, with Nylon Floral designs that were dip dyed to beautiful effect.

To produce the silver ring that accepts the different floral designs, Rebecca made use of the fact that Nylon SLS can be a suitable alternative to castable resin for investment or lost wax casting. The ring, necklace mail and all of the floral parts were designed to accept Neodymium magnets, which when fitted in to the finished components, made the collection easily and securely interchangeable.

Rebecca used the SLS container system to prototype the series of floral designs in order to perfect their tolerances and strength. The affordability of the fixed price volumes allowed her to budget for this stage, and enabled her to establish what the final production costs would be.

Having refined the floral elements through a few short prototyping stages, Rebecca started dyeing tests with the Nylon SLS and perfected a dip dyeing technique that produced a beautiful colour graded effect to replicate the variations found in Nature. Once she had finalised all of the elements that came together to make up the collection, she then proceeded to investigate the economics of production, by combining different collections of ring and flower attachments and pricing them using the container system.

At this point it occurred to her that it might be possible to collaborate with D2W on her own bespoke container size and design, that could also provide the packaging for the sets of jewellery. This resulted in her being able to produce her own set priced volumes in a bespoke container that formed the final packaging for the pieces.

This was a brilliant example of a young designer grasping many of the benefits of 3D printing, not just to help produce a beautiful and sophisticated end result, but also designing it with the economics of production in mind.

This project was so well received that she was invited to showcase as part of Bright Young Gems at IJL in September 2016 and also to take part in The Goldsmith Centre’s “Shine” exhibition as a precursor to her taking their Setting Out and Getting Started course.