Beyond Wax

Working with resin-based models

By Shawna Kulpa

You’ve been doing this for years. A wise and grizzled expert, you’ve been casting wax jewelry models since the Eisenhower days. But lately you’ve been getting more and more calls from jewelers investing in these so-called 3-D printers, creating models from this plastic-like resin material. The price of these machines is so low that now every mom-and-pop jeweler and hobbyist can afford one and has started growing their own models. Heck, some of them are even printing models right on their kitchen tables! But now they have to have their homegrown models cast—so they contact you, trusting in your years of experience. Send it in, you tell ’em. After all, how different could casting this resin stuff be from wax?

Turns out, quite a bit.