Top Four 3D Printing Materials for Jewelry Designers: Gold, Silver, Brass, Bronze

The most common misconception about 3D printed jewelry is that it is printed in metallic plastic. This is not the case: it is produced as a real, solid piece of jewelry made out of the precious metal of your choice.

In this blog post, we will have a closer look at the four best and most popular materials for jewelry designers.

1. Gold

Our gold comes with a high gloss finish, and you have the option to choose between 14 and 18 karats. Once again, this is not a gold-plated item, but your entire design will be made in 14 or 18 karats solid gold.

Besides those options, we also offer three different color finishes for gold: yellow, white, or red gold. These color options are achieved by adding different metal alloys to the gold. For red gold, we use a higher amount of copper, whereas white gold contains a palladium alloy.

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18k Yellow Gold 3D Print of Elizabeth’s Honey Bee Charm

2. Sterling Silver

The most popular choice for jewelry designers tends to be Sterling Silver, which is offered in several finishes.

  • The first of these finishes for silver 3D printing is a gloss finish, which is achieved by post-processing your model in a magnetic tumbler. This technique is the least aggressive process for silver items. While this finish is perfect if you want to keep a high level of detail, the surface of your model would be not as smooth as with our high-gloss finish.
  • High Gloss models undergo a particularly vigorous mechanical polishing process that will round off any sharp corners on your model. As a result of this, the surface will have the lowest level of detail of all the finishes, but the highest level of smoothness and shine.
  • Satin models are manually post-treated with a wire brush in order to obtain the effect of lines on the metal.
  • Sandblasted models, on the other hand, are treated with an abrasive blasting method. The surface of your model will be even and smooth, and your print will have a great mat look to it.
  • And last but not least, there’s Antique Silver. It is characterized by very shiny and smooth outer surfaces, while deeper areas remain darker and unsmoothed. This gives your item a great color contrast.
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From top left to bottom:
Gloss, High Gloss, Satin, Sandblasted, and Antique Silver Finishes

You can see some of the most outstanding silver 3D prints and have an overview of the different finishes for silver that we offer on our blog.

3. Brass

Another great material for jewelry designer is brass, an alloy made from copper and zinc. Quite simply, it’s a material that looks great and comes at a low price, just two of the good reasons why we love 3D printing in brass.

  • Untreated brass

You can have your brass 3D prints with a basic finish: untreated brass. You will get your models without polishing, coating or plating.

Untreated Brass

Skull Ring by Claude Saos. Untreated Brass

  • Natural PU coating

Once your model has been produced, it will be coated with a clear PU coating.

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Greedy Fish by Michael Mueller in 3D printed natural PU coated brass

  • Polished yellow-gold plating

You can also decide if you want to electroplate it with a shiny and razor-thin 18 karat gold layer. We offer color-plating finishes too, by combining an electroplating process with a

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Cube Nº 2 Ring by Melisantelmo. 3D printed in gold-plated brass

We offer color-plating finishes too, by combining an electroplating process with a colored PU coating.

  • Polished black color-plating for brass

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Cube Nº 2 Ring by Melisantelmo. 3D printed in black color-plated brass

  • Polished red-gold plating for brass

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Arrow Heart Pendant by Jweel, 3D Printed in Red Gold-Plated Polished Brass

  • Polished chrome-plating for brass

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Chrome-plated brass 3D print by Bert de Niel

  • Polished rhodium plating

Bloom by Blueberries

Bloom by Blueberries, 3D Printed in Rhodium-Plated Polished Brass

4. Bronze

Now that we have covered gold, silver, and brass, we still need to talk about bronze of course. Bronze is an alloy that consists primarily of copper and it’s quite an affordable material. By nature, bronze has a somewhat reddish-yellow color. An uncoated model will oxidize over time and won’t be protected against scratches.

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Space Time Coordinates by Govy and Martin Vézina

That’s why you can optionally cover your bronze model with a PU coating. In addition to the PU coating, you can also get your bronze model polished. This post-process uses a magnetic tumbler to smoothen the surface and make the model a bit shinier.

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Serpents Buckle by Michael Mueller. 3D printed in bronze.

Other 3D Printing Materials for Jewelry

Next to gold, silver, bronze, and brass we offer more than 100 other materials and finishes. These include 3D printing materials such as polyamide (SLS) which is a nylon plastic that comes in many different color finishes, and which allows for a maximum of design freedom . For example, you can create interlocking parts with it.

There’s also alumide which a mix of polyamide with aluminum particles and which results in a sparkling effect and rubber-like a flexible plastic option, regular steel, high detail stainless steel for a maximum amount of details, titanium, aluminum,or  copper.

Discover our favorite 3D-printed jewelry in non-metal materials.

These materials can be great for producing new and unconventional pieces of jewelry or affordable prototypes that you could use for your upcoming designs. 3D printing can be a great way to improve your creative business.

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Happy Bird by Michiel Cornelissen. 3D printed in Polyamide (SLS)

Now that you know which materials jewelry designer can use, simply upload your 3D file here and get an instant quote for your professional metal print.

If you are still struggling to create a printable 3D file, take a look at the best 3D modeling programs for jewelry designers, and learn the top 5 modeling tips to turn your 3D model into a stunning metal 3D print.