THE HOT THREE: Top 3D print creations of the week (29th November)

3. 3D printed jewellery made from 18-carat gold

We’ve had plenty of stories about how 3D printing is affecting the world of fashion recently, what with Hoet couture glasses and the 3D smoke dress. One item of clothing that seems particularly suited to additive manufacturing, however, is jewellery.

3D printed 18 carat jewellery

After Neiman Marcus’ announcement that it was teaming up with Shapeways to offer two one-of-a-kind pieces of 3D printed jewellery this Christmas, comes a startlingly beautiful line of rings from designer Ross Lovegrove.

The Foliates collection brings together six 18-carat gold rings, intricately created using direct metal laser sintering. Lovegrove describes the rings like this:

They sit lightly, exploring the dynamics of space and the digital realm, converging organic design with the nature of naturalness that underlines my life’s commitment to sourcing the trinity that can exist so succinctly when technology, materials and form converge in the advanced times in which we live.

The collection will be launched this week at the Louisa Guinness gallery at Art Design Miami.

2. 3D printed instruments to rock Euromold, Frankfurt

Olaf Diegal is a New Zealand-based designer who has attracted quite a bit of attention for his 3D printed musical instruments. Fans of his skeletal guitar designs will be delighted to hear that next week at the Euromold design fair in Frankfurt a band will be rocking the house kitted out with Diegal instruments.

3D printed drums

While his website boasts a number of beguiling guitars and basses, this week he revealed the two instruments that will complete the line up: the Atom drum set and the Ladybug keyboard.

The drums comprise three toms (12”, 13” and 16”), one bass drum (22”) and one snare (14”). The keyboard itself is not 3D printed but rather is a Yamaha P35 encased in a gorgeous 3D printed frame. Both pieces were created using Duraform PA, which is a very strong form of nylon, and selective laser sintering on a sPro 230 SLS System printer.

3D printed keyboards

Those worried that a drum-kit full of holes might lack the acoustic strength necessary for live music need not worry. Diegel reckons there’s no audible difference between this and a regular set.

1. 3D printed eyes could revolutionise the prosthetics industry

Creating a prosthetic replacement for people unfortunate enough to lose an eye is not a simple or inexpensive process. A single ocular prosthetic, otherwise known as an artificial eye, takes almost 10 weeks to manufacture and is likely to cost the patient upwards of £3000.

3d Printed Eyes

This week, Sheffield-based 3D printing company Fripp Design and Research announced a development that might change that situation drastically. The firm, which specialises in the mass production of prosthetic body parts, is perfecting a process that it thinks will be capable of printing 150 eyes in just an hour. Not only that, it can be done so cheaply that they will only cost 100 quid a pop for the end-user.

By traditional means, artificial eyes are made from plastic acrylic or specially created glass before being painted to match the patient’s eye colour. Fripp prints its prosthetics in full colour using a ZCorp Z510 3D printer, which encases them in resin.

Where this discovery could have the biggest impact is in third world countries, such as India, where a lack of access to advanced surgical procedures commonly results in patients losing eyes. Fripp hopes to have the process ready to go in 12 months’ time.

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