Founded in 1933, leading German wedding ring manufacturer egf Manufaktur is shortening the feedback loop between designer and customer tenfold, blending a custom software solution with desktop digital fabrication to create a modern, highly personalized customer experience.
“Every wedding ring is individualized and made-to-order. They’re more important than any other jewelry product in showing the customer’s individual ideas,” said Nick-Maximilian Binder, assistant to the managing director at egf, and leader of the on-site 3D printing project.
“That’s why it only makes sense to configure a ring in CAD software, print in 3D, and give it to the customer before the ring is hand-crafted by the goldsmith. We find that customers want to modify the original ring to make it either thicker or narrower, or with varying stone settings.”
Egf was awarded the quality certificate of the Jewelry Technology Institute of the University of Applied Sciences Pforzheim. To get up and running with little experience in 3D printing, egf turned to Formlabs Form 2 desktop 3D printer.
“The Form 2 excited us the most with its speed—less than one hour for printing our rings, the high quality its resins, and ease of use,” Binder said.
The company customized their CAD software so that employees, seated next to the prospective customer, can easily make adjustments to pre-loaded engagement ring designs without formal CAD training. Once the customer is happy with a design, egf sends the file to Formlabs PreForm print preparation software and prepares the part to be 3D printed on the Form 2 with Formlabs Grey Resin. Within an hour, the parts are printed, post-processed with Form Wash for a few minutes, and lightly finished if needed (support removal and sanding).
The sleek, finished prototype is then ready to show the customer, who can physically inspect and try on their ring during just one consultation appointment. In a retail setting where time is of the essence, egf can accelerate the sale with on-demand customization and customer communication.
Engagement ring files are uploaded to Formlabs’ free PreForm software. The intuitive and easy-to-use software allows the user to add supports, duplicate designs, and rearrange parts for printing as necessary.
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