Based in Taiwan, ElementsLab is an innovative jewelry 3D printing service that introduced the use of 3D printing technologies in order to offer mass customized jewelry, primarily making silver and light jewelry. Founded by Ting Tang, the company entered the industry with an experimental spirit. “Following the changes and growth of the AM industry, we use more materials and apply them to many different industries,” she says. “These seemingly different industries, In fact, they all point to the same direction—the application of future manufacturing and customization.”
The company started to use 3D printing technology to customize the design and manufacture of jewelry in 2015. Compared with traditional metalworking, 3D printing technology enabled more complex design, faster and with a more streamlined process. “In the 21st century, the definition of customized goods is limited only by imagination. Even hand-drawn artwork can be turned into accessories,” Ting says. “By using 3D software to create the 3D models first, we are able to accurately predict the results of the finished product. In addition, it makes the process very easy to modify, also very convenient to communicate with customers.”
The jewelry making process thus becomes a type of collaboration between ElementsLab and its customers. They propose and customize their ideas using 3D printing with Elements Lab sharing the experience and walking them through the process, assisting them in designing and making jewelry with a personal style and meaning. In this way, each jewel has a unique story.
“Making jewelry is a professional and yet quite interesting process. We help customers design and produce all kinds of jewelry, including silverware and fine jewelry. I find it interesting because we see everyone’s creativity and sense of beauty is so different, and it makes every design irreplaceable and unique. ”
Growing beyond jewelry
Over the years, Elements Lab has used the experience acquired with 3D printing in jewelry making and expanded to offer 3D printing services in other segments as well. To further fuel her passion for 3D printing, Ting also runs a successful AM-industry blog (which has recently evolved into the official Chinese-language version of 3D Printing Media Network) to raise awareness around the AM industry. “3D printing technology, just like artificial intelligence (AI), smartphones and the Internet, will change our way of life, this next generation of manufacturing technology will eventually change the way we manufacture goods,” Ting says.
With the rise of 3D printing technology, the diversity of materials has driven the demand for printing services. Affordable filament extrusion (FFF) 3D printers are becoming available to everyone, but the hardware equipment that meets the needs of enterprises and the material characteristics that are suitable for industrial products are still very expensive. In addition, the post-production process still requires extra manpower and time for processing.
At Elements Lab, the main purpose of the 3D printing is to provide customers with pre-modeling (prototype) simulations while quickly providing accurate parts for internal and external (client) evaluation and discussion. Although these are just prototype samples, the printed items must satisfy the customer’s multiple-use (in terms of durability and mechanical functionality) conditions, as well as the dimensional accuracy of the object and the material characteristics.
The printing services are carried out mainly using FDM (filament extrusion) and SLA (light curing) machines. Elements Lab production capabilities also extend to small-sized metal objects. They also offer post-production services, such as transparent processes, color dyeing, painting or electroplating.