Looking at 3-D printing activity within the jewelry industry from two angles, the report explores the “traditional” use of 3-D printing for lost wax casting models, as well as the emerging potential for directly fabricated jewelry using powder bed fusion. It discusses different vendors as well as their technologies. If you want to dig in more on what is coming in 3-D printed electronics, be sure to check out new entrant, Voxel8, but I do not believe they are mentioned in the SmarTech report.

Jewelry players analyzed include the 3-D printer manufacturers: 3D Systems, Solidscape (wax models), Concept Laser, EnvisionTEC, EOS, and Realizer, plus service bureaus Shapeways, Sculpteo. 3-D software maker Autodesk ADSK +0.35% is also mentioned. Progold, the material company that creates gold and other alloy powders is included, too.

Like many industries, 3-D printing threatens a certain level of “disruption” according to the report. While I believe that existing, entrenched jewelry makers can adopt and roll out 3-D technologies, if they are not already, there are definitely challenges from the service bureau and small scale jewelry makers and shops.

Since I have spent some time with Shapeways, I can see how it is possible that service bureaus that allow Ebay-like storefronts, made up of individual jewelry artisans, could comprise a fairly significant market share, over time. Shapeways recently introduced a personalization option, called CustomMaker, for artisans to make it easier for consumers to customize jewelry (or other 3D creations) on the service.

Add in the growing number of digital platforms to sell customized 3-D printed jewelry directly to consumers, growth in 3-D printing jewelry is set for a rapid pace in the future. While I have not seen metal 3-D systems in use on services like Load 3D Hubs, no doubt someone will make the investment and offer jewelry prints.