Making the Diamond Spangled Bangle

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14 Karat Bangle with Diamonds 14 Karat Bangle with Diamonds

To follow-up my previous post I thought I'd show a few photos taken while the bracelet was being made and comment on some of the techniques used. This piece was made for a jeweler whose customer had a link bracelet I had made. After being worn daily for many years it had simply worn out. They were considering having it remade, but decided upon resetting the stones into a hinged bracelet with a similar design.

There are a few ways one might have gone about making this piece. Early in discussions with the retailer, though, I mentioned that if I modeled it in CAD I could get a fairly decent rendering for the customer to see. He liked that idea, so... as long as it was going to model it in Rhinoceros http://www.rhino3d.com/ I decided may as well have a model built from that file.

Computer rendering of the proposed piece. Computer rendering of the proposed piece.

The bracelet was modeled in the program completely, with clasp, hinge, and stones set, to get a rendering to show the customer. The rendering was done in Flamingo, http://www.flamingo3d.com/ a companion program to Rhinoceros.

File, as sent to the rapid prototype company to be built. File, as sent to the rapid prototype company to be built.

I might have had the model built with the hinge pieces, holes, and clasp, but ultimately decided to build just one half at the stage shown here. The model was built by RJM Rapid Prototyping.

Resin model prepared for a silicon rubber mold. Resin model prepared for a silicon rubber mold.

These models build very well, but I still wanted to do some minor finishing on it. I understand that a casting can be done directly from models made with this resin, but I have yet to try that. I still prefer to mold them and cast from waxes.

Silicon RTV rubber jewelry molds are made in an open-top frame. The assembly in the photo will be clamped between glass plates and mixed rubber will be poured to a level just above the brass insert. Trapped air is then removed with a vacuum pump. The brass insert used here does not contact the model. After injecting a wax it is removed before pulling the rubber core, reducing the chance of distorting the wax.

(The brass squares the frame is standing on are just props -- there's a rivet head beneath the aluminum cone.)


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eligius1427's picture

Hi Dick, I'm not a jeweler

Hi Dick, I'm not a jeweler by any means, but find your tutorial fascinating. It's great to be able to see how someone went from a sketch on a napkin to the final product. The bracelet is really gorgeous. I'm also about to invest in the Rhino program and am happy to see other people using it. Should help when I cry for help.

jake

Jake Balcom
Mettle Design
Lincoln, NE


Dick C's picture

Rhino has a terrific newsgroup.

Thank you, Jake. I was kind of afraid I might be spreading more confusion than information.

Rhino has a terrific newsgroup. It's been a while since I've checked in there, but it was always very active. If you have a question on something I believe you'd get a quick reply.