By Alexandria Matossian, Designer and Creative Director of Bostonian Jewelers and one of the industry’s early CAD CAM adopters.
Bostonian Jewelers had the privilege and pleasure to be chosen as a beta tester for Solidscape’s new S350 High Precision 3D Printer for the jewelry industry this summer.
In With the New
The Solidscape Customer Service Team is amazing and consistent. They make sure the S350 High Precision 3D Printer is properly set up and running before they leave. Although we did not call them for one issue on the new S350, we know they are there and always available to take our phone call.
As a designer and director of manufacturing, my mind starts to think of the benefits and possible road blocks to our manufacturing stream. Very quickly within a few builds on the S350, any worry I have about the potential issues of additional equipment in my shop vanishes. The S350’s performance is brilliant, quiet and without issues.
Solidscape is always looking to build on, move forward and improve workflow. In their latest release, they created the new S300 Series of Printers specifically for the jewelry industry focused on reducing time and improved user functions. The series features a few minor adjustments and a few major improvements. Overall, the changes Solidscape made to their new printer not only meet our needs – they exceed them.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Some of the small but important changes are the placement and ergonomics of a few elements, such as the lights. The lights were moved to allow for an easier view of the build through illumination. This is particularly helpful for a visual check on the progress as well as the ability to capture images during the build.
On our current Solidscape 3Z Pro, the printer sometimes needs to calibrate a few times before the build can begin. This requires us to stand in front of the machine, waiting to go home for a long weekend, until we are confident the build will continue. On the S350, the calibration is precise. We did not experience one error during calibration. This allowed us to simply press start and walk away.
Having smaller hands, I really appreciated the changes made to the board clips. Being able to snap and go means all the difference to our workflow.
We are pleased to say we did not have one issue with our jets on the S350. In the past we had a few issues with our jets that Solidscape has been able to resolve for us.
Although our current 3Z Pro is everything we could have ever asked for in a 3D printer, the S350 is just as clean and efficient as ever. I noticed faster, cleaner wax models on my desk and ready for production.
Less time waiting for models is always good for the bottom line. The pull off the board and VSO procedure time both decreased with the new material and open matrix on the support material.
The Luxury of Two Printers
As the S350 Beta Program comes to a close, I reflect on how amazing it was to have the two printers this summer working side by side.
Participating in the Beta was unique opportunity to continue the pace of manufacturing at Bostonian Jewelers and hit the test track with something new at the same time. There were a few occasions where I felt particularly lucky to have two machines running in tandem in my shop.
Unique builds that were taller, longer or more detailed than usual were run on a side by side basis, where the Pro and the S350 were started at approximately the same time and ran for comparison. Both printers performed brilliantly, but as fate would step in, having additional copies of those waxes were prudent and needed at the eleventh hour.
We had a few rush orders to be filled in an extreme time frame. We were able to halt one printer and reset new orders without disturbing our work flow.
These are some of the luxuries of having more than one printer in the workshop. Being able to create a 3D object like jewelry from an idea or a sketch never gets old. Creating these jewelry pieces for a living is a privilege and building them with a Solidscape High Precision 3D Printer is just amazing.