LEARN — 3D Printing Series Part I — WHAT

3D Printing — Calla Swing Necklace — OHLINA | Contemporary 3D Printed Jewellery


The wave of 3D Printing has taken its storm in the past five years - opening a world of possibilities for many fields. You might feel a bit overwhelmed by this fast-growing technology as it’s only going to get better! 

I thought it would be good to give an insight into the processes used for our sculptural jewellery at OHLINA through a 3-part series of the WHAT, WHY and HOW.

I want to clarify this misconception of 3D Printing as “a push of a button and something is printed in front of you – it’s easy.” Maybe is our answer – it’s not as straightforward as it sounds!

3D Printing has become so accessible to the world that anyone can print, but simultaneously, there aren't enough designers who use the technology to seek for greater beauty in design. 

We are passionate about transparency, creative liberation and advocates for the independent & the contemporary curious. OHLINA believe everything begins with aesthetic beauty, and there should be an acknowledgement of how much hard work and perfection goes into crafting a piece that is worth printing - even if the technology is deemed as “accessible”, the craftsmanship needs to have its value and beauty to be appreciated as an art. 

For this post, I will begin with WHATWhat is 3D Printing? 

Every 3D Print starts from a digital 3D model file – it is an additive manufacturing process that takes your three-dimensional digital blueprint and transforms its DNA into a physical object by laying down thin layers of material in succession, known as “printing”.

At OHLINA, we use three methods of 3D printing processes for our jewellery: 

Types of 3D Printing Diagram — OHLINA | Contemporary 3D Printed Jewellery

  1. FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) is used during our testing stage of prototypes – it is a desktop printer that uses a feeder to extrude the material, typically from a melted filament to lay down the material. It is the most commonly known method used by everyone from other industries and has made 3D printing more “accessible”.
  2. SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) for our nylon sculptural jewellery — after we are happy with the FDM prototypes, we send it to large industrial printers to be SLS printed because of its high-resolution technology that can achieve smooth and beautiful finish for our final sculptural pieces. It uses a laser to melt and fuse layers of nylon powder at high temperatures — resulting in beautifully intricate, yet incredibly robust and durable pieces.
  3. (W)SLA (Wax Stereolithography) Printing & Casting for our precious metal jewellery — it is a hybrid indirect printing process, where a stereolithography 3D printing process is used to creates a wax-resin print and set into moulds, before casting into the desired metal material and polished by hand for the final piece. 

Read more in depth about the three processes here with HOW > How does 3D Printing work?

With What and How — you can’t leave out the Why!

Read our WHY story and our belief of using technology in design with > Why We Choose 3D Printing?

I hope you will enjoy this series of What.How.Why in 3D Printing and feel you have learnt something new from us!

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Selina Yau, Founder & Creative Director of OHLINA


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