A project using 3D scanning, 3D printing, and an old-fashioned crafting technique

Here’s a picture of a flower growing in my garden. it’s a Primula Sieboldii Edomurasaki (aka a “Japanese Primrose” which is a lot easier to say!!).


I thought it would make an ideal candidate for making into a piece of jewellery using the latest 3D scanning and 3D printing techniques, but with a very traditional crafting method thrown into the mix at the end

After selecting the flower that looked the best I used a Fuel 3D SCANIFY hand-held 3D scanner to digitally capture the flower in full 3D


The .stl file was then imported into Autodesk Meshmixer for final cleaning which involved softening the edges that had been created when the volume was added, and a loop was added to the rear face for use later on.


The flower was then printed horizontally on my Ultimaker 2 3D printer at 80 micron layer height with support added by Cura. The material used was Faberdashery Arctic WhitePLA.

After printing the support material was removed and some minor clean- up and finishing was carried out prior to the final step.


Take a look at how the real flower and the 3D printed flower compare in this picture


And then it was time to dust off a very old crafting technique called gilding. This was a method of applying precious metal to items in the days before electro-plating was invented.

Through the wonder of e-commerce you can very easily buy 24 carat gold-leaf through ebay, together with the acrylic glue required to apply it.

After three applications of gold leaf to the 3D print I had my 24 carat gold coated bespoke piece of jewellry.


All that remained was to add a suitable chain through the loop I’d added in the Meshmixer phase of the project. I’d then succeeded in turning a piece of the natural world into a piece of gold-coated jewellery that was ready to wear…


This was great project to show not only that 3D scanning and 3D printing are amazing tools, but that we shouldn’t forget the older “making” techniques in the process. They still definitely have a place in the latest world ofdigital making


Steve Cox
Education Ambassador
CREATE Education Project – Ultimaker GB

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