Silver is a precious metal with a very high electrical and thermal conductivity. It’s composed of 93% solid sterling silver and a 7% metal alloy of copper and zinc. The material is very malleable and shines brightly after polishing. Silver is available in five different finishes: gloss, high-gloss, satin, sandblasting and antique silver.
The pricing for Silver is based on model volume, which is the volume of your model used to calculate the material cost (mm³).
Additionally, a startup cost is applied to the price of your model. This is a fixed cost independent from the parameters of your model. If you order two or more copies of a model, the price automatically decreases because the preparation of multiple copies can be carried out more efficiently.
The hallmarking of silver is a way of guaranteeing that you’re getting the correct level of purity in your precious metals. We don’t use an assay office; instead, we have permission from the Royal Mint of Belgium to mark cast models with a master (also called a maker) and purity stamp. The purity mark will indicate the purity of the precious metal. Sterling silver (92.5% purity) will have an oval purity stamp with the text “AG 925”.
The master or maker stamp has been registered and approved by the Royal Mint of Belgium. It displays the symbol of a lightbulb with the letters “i.m” inside the outline of a barrel.
Hallmarking is performed to the highest extent possible, either with a laser or by stamping the metal. However, if there is a risk of damaging the final product, the marks may be missing. In every case, you will always receive an invoice as proof of authenticity. Pursuant to the Belgian Law of 11 August 1987 on the warranty of works on precious metals and the Belgian Royal Decree of 18 January 1990 on the warranty of works on precious metals, i.materialise guarantees that the object of the Invoice fulfills the standards of purity for silver at 92.5% purity.
For customers outside the EU, hallmarking is not provided.
i.materialise complies with Belgian legislation and the free movement of goods in Europe.
Silver is mainly used for jewelry such as rings, cufflinks, bracelets, pendants, and earrings.
Wax 3D printing and lost-wax casting are used to build your design when using this material. The wax printing process is a type of Stereolithography that uses a wax-like resin. Support structures are printed along with the model to make sure your model doesn’t fall apart. These support structures are automatically generated and manually removed after the printing process. After support structures are removed and your model is cleaned, the model can be prepared for casting.
First, one or more wax sprues will be attached to your model. Next, the sprue and model will be attached to a wax ‘tree’, together with a bunch of other models. The tree is then placed in a flask and covered in fine plaster. When the plaster solidifies, it forms the mold for silver casting. The plaster mold is then put in an oven and heated for several hours to a point where the wax is completely burned out.
Then, the molten silver is poured in to fill the cavities left by the wax. Once the silver has cooled and solidified, the plaster mold is broken and the silver models are removed by hand. Finally, your model is filed and sanded to get rid of the sprues. It will be sanded, polished or sandblasted to achieve the finish you desire.
- Because pure silver would be too soft for durable jewelry, an alloy is added to harden the material for longer wear
- Due to the nature of the process (lost-wax casting and printing) used in the production of silver, interlocking or enclosed parts are not possible
- Sterling silver is a standard alloy used for jewelry purposes and is safe to wear on your skin
- The quality of a silver model is comparable to the kind of jewelry you can find in jewelry stores
- Silver consists of 93% silver, 4% copper, and 3% zinc