Each ring undergoes a vigorous design process and ends with a harmonious balance of hand-finish that harnesses the perfection of 3d printing
How does 3d-printing work and how are these rings 3d-printed?
We are often asked one or both of these questions. So to start, 3d-printing works in a very similar way to your printer at home except instead of ink, in prints tiny dots of material one pixel at a time. Usually, that material has some sort of glue or binder in it as well so that it can stick to the next pixel that is printed. The other main difference from your printer at home is that 3d-printers print in layers, so the print head can actually rise up one layer every time and print exactly on top of the layer it printer before. Hundreds of layers later, you're left with a 3d object!
For Endswell pieces in particular, we have the 3d-printer create our designs in wax which is then cast into the final metal designs. Casting from wax is actually a very traditional method (known as the "lost wax method"). It's still how 99% of ring designs that you see today are made; however, most of those waxes are carved by hand. By 3d-printing our wax, we get the best of both worlds; the balance of hand-finish and the perfection of 3d-printing. We love technology, but we realize it isn't an end unto itself and appreciate the beauty when the world of handcraft and technology intersect.
How do you come up with your designs?
Each ring is born of a certain vocabulary. We value the meaning behind every piece and use these values to inspire the physical form. After a long process of sketching and modeling in the computer, we uncover a select few pieces that embody their meaning fully.
What's involved in the "hand-finish"?
When the metal casts are finished, they still need to undergo and fair amount of cleanup and polished. This part cannot be replaced by machine, even though that option does exist, we insist that it be done by hand. Our jewelers clean up the cast and use a series of buffers to bring out the smooth finish and bright shine of the metals. We also offer each ring either polished, brushed, and in some styles, we recommend a combination where one surface is brushed and another surface is polished to accentuate the design (if applicable, this recommendation will appear on the product listing).