My wife Julie was comissioned to create a ring for a friend of ours. The brief was quite loose (but based around Victorian filigree style) which gave her freedom to try out some interesting designs. Early on we decided to try them out in 3D, initially just as a way of visualising Julie's ideas but then we decided to attempt to have the object 3D printed and then cast in silver.
The inital design of the band as it would be "unrolled".
The 3D model was created in MAX, the measurements are there as a guide to the firm doing the printing, as you can see the object itself was very small with some details getting down to the .1mm range. As someone who has only ever modeled for screen and print purposes, it is a challenge to get used to modeling for real world applications.
Pre vis-ing the ring on a hand mesh
After some trial and error (mostly error on my part) we got the tolerances and dimensions figured out in 3D and off to the printers. What we got back was this. The cage like structure is from the multiple sprues necessary for the metal to flow into all the tight spaces of the piece (or so I'm told).
Julie then chopped off all the sprues and cleaned up and polished the piece, polished all the convex surfaces blackened the crevices to highlight the shapes.
The piece was then taken to the setter to have the two diamonds set. Below is the result
This process was a major learning experience for both of us. Completing a challenging piece such as this will definitely be valuable experience for the next project we try.
Check out Julie's work here