Glamorous 3D printed jewelry can be made out of polyamide 12. Evonik demonstrates how.

In a world where fancy 3D printed jewelry has often been associated with precious metals, specialty chemicals company Evonik is challenging the traditional way of thinking to carve a place for its  polyamide 12 multipurpose material (PA12).

Designed for infinite 3D applications and compatible with selective laser sintering (SLS), high-speed sintering (HSS), and multi-jet fusion (MJF), Evonik’s PA12 delivers excellent powder flow, high impact strength and high flexibility, and a great surface finish that can be easily dyed after printing.

The material is at the heart of BOLTENSTERN GmbH’s entry brand FABNORA. If you have a slight interest in 3D printing applications in the jewelry sector, BOLTENSTERN GmbH’s name is probably not new music to your ears.

Led by Marie Boltenstern, an architect by training who decided to  carry on the work of her father, BOLTENSTERN GmbH has established a long reputation among connoisseurs of the field and under Bolternstern’s leadership, has positioned itself as one to watch when it comes to intricate, geometrically shaped jewelry created through 3D printing.

In 2015, when I took over the company, my aim was to 3D print 18k gold,” says Marie. Fascinated since her architect days by the complex shapes that could be formed through computer programming, Marie started writing her own code to create unique designs for jewelry. “With code, it’s possible to create an infinite number of beautiful, elegant shapes,” says Marie, “but of course, in a computer everything can look OK. I needed to bring my complex, moveable structures to life.”

As printing directly in gold during the developmental phase would have been very costly, Marie started working with PA12 initially as the material for her prototypes. “One day, I was looking over some designs with a friend and I noticed how elegant they looked in the prototyping material, too,” says Marie. It was the birth of what was to become the FABNORA entry brand.

The collaboration with Evonik comes in many shapes and colors

Together, Evonik and BOLTENSTERN have developed jewels in a variety of colors that range from neutral to super bright tones. They are specially developed by DyeMansion, a German-based company specializing in complete, connected & fully integrated end-to-end solutions for all finishing steps. Thanks to their cleaning solutions (DyeMansion Powershot C), the PolyShot surface finish and the coloring system DM60 and the proper use of these systems by the experienced service provider FORMRISE, the raw parts could be turned into high-value products. – For the FABNORA collection, it was possible to choose from the largest color database available, based on RAL shades or Pantone colors, for example. Thanks to DyeMansion’s Color Matching, however, special colors, such as Evonik’s deep purple, can also be developed and offered in a reproducible manner.

Evonik’s PA12 is actually a great asset for jewelry — especially earrings — because the resulting product is super light. The material is also very strong, yet to the touch, it feels like fabric. It adapts wonderfully to the body like a second skin. We offer FABNORA in a rainbow of 20 colors that are renewed every summer and winter,” says Marie.

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