In the future, jewels would not be hand crafted or mined from the deepest trenches of the lands; rather they’d be reproduced and recreated by 3D printing machines and other high tech mediums. This isn’t just a prediction or prophecy of some kind, it seems as though the next batch of engagement rings, bangles and earrings would all be retouched by assembly line robots and lasers. Apart from the ease of comfort and high output, these kinds of technology also enable designers to create pieces which wouldn’t have been possible to create by hand. Let’s take a look at this fascinating development.
The Jewellery Industry
The Jewellery industry has been romanticized and criticized in equal measures and is possibly recession proof. Annual global sales have steadily grown and continue to grow at a rate of 5-6% every year. As such the current numbers for the worldwide Jewellery industry is something in the range of 148 billion Euros and is expecting to rise up to a staggering 250 billion Euros by 2020. As countries like China, India and Russia emerge as massive global players; this number is likely to increase.
The Negatives and Positives of 3d Printing
With the implementation of new technology there is bound to be fascination and criticism alike and in the jewellery sector, this is exactly the case. The craftsmanship skills required to carve and create a gemstone is what makes these stones so special according to the naysayers of 3D tech. If a printing machine will churn out identical stones in a sort of assembly line production, it would take its uniqueness making it too bland.
On the other hand, other jewellers are embracing the hand of high tech in their relatively antique business. They believe that old and new can perfectly co-exist and that 3D printing will combine with traditional techniques and craftwork to create something special and with much better efficiency. Many insiders state that the major aspects of stone carving like drawing, sketching and shaping will be done in a traditional manner but enhanced by better technology.
The future of Jewellery isn’t only relying on 3D technology to move ahead with the times. Another tech that has been slowly but surely creating a buzz is projectile technology. In simple words, it is a small pattern of tiny light resembling a necklace which is projected on the wearer’s neck. In a way, you could say the necklace is streamed onto the viewer’s skin. Although Projectile jewellery has yet to take off on an official scale, there are projects already under consideration.
The case for Neclumi
Neclumi is a projected necklace controlled by a custom app and connected via an HDMI cable which is attached to the wearer’s body. A prototype of the projected jewellery sort, Neclumi has excited many people- both industry insiders and the larger public alike. It comes in four major styles which are named Aero, Roto, Movi and Sono. Each is unique in how it responds to the sensors which flicker and flutter which results in a beautiful, minimalistic necklace appearing around the neck region.
This is a very exciting technology but it will be sometime before the public can make a purchase of the illusion of expensive Jewellery. The makers state that for it to be a standalone necklace without any connections to external wiring, the battery and chips need to be much smaller. Regardless, this is a great idea: a digital necklace formed by light patterns projected on the body surely seems exciting and futuristic.
The future of the Jewellery industry is about to undergo a seismic change, much like other industries like automobile and IT. 3D printing or wearable projection is a means to an end but they could change the face of the Jewellery industry for good in as soon as the next 7-10 years. Projection based jewels are being conceptualized every day and as smaller batteries and chipsets become available so would these items. 3D printing is already being utilized in almost every sector today and the use of robots and lasers to create gemstones would seem to be the way to go for the Jewellery industry.