You Design It – Charms and Bracelets

G&S Jewelry Mfg is pleased to announce our new You Design It – Charms and Bracelets project! We wish to extend our in-house design and manufacturing capabilities to you our valued customer.

You Design It – Charms and Bracelets

Our Computer Aided Design (CAD), Model Master and 3D Printing  along with our Laser Engraving tools deliver a broad array of tools for the designer to put their unique interests on a piece of jewelry.

By and large most of our customers have artistic abilities in hand working, graphic arts and the tools to work on their own.  Above all they know in their mind’s eye what they want. In the same way, they may have limits on moving from ideation or concept to a prototype. By the same token the gap between a prototype to full scale production is the limiting constraint.

As a result of these gaps; G&S Jewelry Mfg created their own design center. All things considered, this approach offers our customers significant leveraging of dedicated equipment worth thousands of dollars. In other words, our design studio is your design studio!

Advances in digital communication and useful tools such as video conferencing and mobile communication allow for “face-to-face” meetings thousands of miles away. Accordingly, you can access us and our capabilities to see a 3D rendering or a laser engraving in real time. Of course you can always visit our facility, but the speed of business is increased considerably in this manner.

You design it – charms and bracelets works in several ways. A single piece for a custom requirement, a master for molding or full scale manufacturing. This is dependent on the nature of the piece, the materials involved and anticipated volume requirement.

Tools of Our Trade

The video link below illustrates our Neutec LightScribe laser engraving system can provide on a sterling bracelet blank.

Your Unique Design Here Video of Display

Laser LightScribe Machine Panel Photo 300x225 You Design It – Charms and Bracelets

Neutec LightScribe 20W Laser Engraving Machine

Finally, realization of reduced design costs.

We are a small woman owned manufacturing company with 100% of our manufacturing operations in the USA.

Questions? Contact us here we would be very pleased to help.

Types of Finishing of Investment Cast Jewelry Components

There are many options for investment cast jewelry components. These include several different types of mass finishing as well as hand finishing techniques. Each have their place depending upon the desired reflectivity, contrast or directionality of the lines of finish texture.

Mass finishing is most commonly employed as it offers low cost, consistency and high quality. It is accomplished in barrels or bowls with wet or dry media. The finish returned can range from a matte finish to a highly specular finish. The level of finish is dictated by the media used, the amount of time of finishing and the stages used for finishing.

Matte finishing can be accomplished using a coarse media dynamically applied enough to remove the rough areas of the casting. This leaves a surfaces that is clean and omnidirectional with no texture lines in the piece. Adding one or two more tumbling steps using finer and harder media will further brighten the surfaces as the peaks and values of the surface become smaller and smaller. Finishing in a ceramic media using a suitable liquid medium to suspend the fine particles will return a highly polished surface.

In the Southwest, many designers want their pieces to have a look that gives the appearance of being worn for many years. In order to achieve this, G&S Jewelry Mfg has developed a technique to deliver a “chaotic” surface with scratches in the surface in random directions. The result is a brand new piece that looks like it has been hard at work for years!

Hand finishing is done on a piece by piece basis. The skill of the buffer along with the media used is critical in achieving the desired look. There are several options here to choose from. Most common is a highly polished surface with bright omnidirectional surfaces on all areas. Alternatives are satin finishes with or without directional texture. A directional texture has a brushed look, all lines of the surface are somewhat parallel. These are most commonly requested for long smooth surfaces such as bracelets.

Hand finishing is more costly due to the labor involved but has it placed depending upon the look desired and customer appetite for the design. G&S Jewelry Mfg is happy to work with its customers to develop the processes that will meet their expectations for color and appearance.

Extending Your Designs for Increased Return on Investment

One of the best ways for a jewelry designer to succeed is to extend successful designs into other components. Consider the following: A piece such as a particular pendant design has been selling well and market acceptance is expected to grow. Taking this basic design and extending it to other complementary components such as earrings, rings, bracelets and charms will increase the return on that design. Why not? You own the design and spent precious time developing it and producing first articles. Redesigning the part and retasking it for other components makes good business sense particularly if the design is in digital format and you have the contact information for current pendant customers to test market the designs.

Digital formats can readily be shrunk, stretched and modified for mounting in a variety of ways. The volumes will be returned and the articles can be priced in many different materials so that the delivered price can be understood in a very straightforward manner.

Customers that have purchased the present design can be offered accessories or sets to match. These customers will be a very good barometer as to market acceptance. The cost to the designer is low compared to the first design, extending good selling designs will broaden your portfolio and add to your bottom line.

Pro Forma Cost Analysis

One of the frequent comments we receive from customers is that the product costing is challenging when starting with a new or existing design. In response we generally suggest developing a pro forma cost analysis based upon several key attributes of the design. This can be done for one material or for several materials to evaluate the costs of a design prior to manufacturing a single piece.

The key attributes will be:

Part Volume

One Time Charges (e.g. Mastering, Molding, Silversmithing)

Material(s) Desired for Part Production

Quantity

Secondary Operations

Part Volume – If we consider that a part will weigh x number of grams in sterling or y number of grams in karat gold or z number of grams in bronze, the differences in intrinsic raw material costs between these three materials will be distinct. Thus the volume of the piece will be a significant part of the cost.

One Time Charges – These charges are for any mastering, molding or silversmithing required to make the design ready for wax injection. These costs are generally the same for sterling, karat gold or bronze and can be pro rated over the life of the design.

Material Selection – As mentioned, the materials under consideration will have a significant impact on cost due to the intrinsic cost of the alloy. Building a cost matrix denoting the prices of each material is very helpful when developing sell price model based upon intended markup and sales channels.

Quantity – Quantity is an often overlooked element as most if not all processes follow a natural logarithm pattern for costs. Higher volumes will generally allow for some cost savings.

Secondary Operations – These steps can include hand buffing, plating, assembly or setting. Depending upon the requirements, it is important to understand the impact on the final cost of the piece. Some operations such as plating lend themselves to mass processing, whereas hand buffing is much more labor intensive. Breaking these costs out help in decision making as to the value of these steps based upon target price of the product.

Summary – A spreadsheet can be readily constructed that will incorporate all of these cost contributing line items into an easy to understand. What-if? scenarios can be entered and the results compared to get close to the target price goals. This aspect of the pre-production planning can mean the difference between good margins or razor thin margins in the final product.

 

 

Vacuum Investing for Improved Casting Surfaces

Investing your flasks and using vacuum to draw bubbles out of the slurry is a key component in successful investing. In this scenario, the investment is poured into the flasks and the investing chamber isolated by closing off all openings to the chamber open to atmosphere. A vacuum pump plumbed directly to the investing chamber is then started to create a negative pressure over the top of the open flasks. Observing the surface of the slurry in the flasks, bubbles can readily be seen to rise to the top and pop. The surface will continue to bubble as trapped air is released and the slurry becomes more dense. This means that the slurry will now conform more closely to the surface of the wax pattern inside the flask. The result will be fewer voids and smoother surfaces. The photo below shows an empty flask on a turntable below a tap used to pour investment slurry into the flask. The plexiglass lid seats on a rubber seal on the rim of the stainless steel chamber. When vacuum is applied the lid seals and the inside of the chamber is under vacuum.

Robotech Vacuum Investing System 300x225 Vacuum Investing for Improved Casting Surfaces
Flask on Turntable In Investing Chamber Beneath Plexiglass Chamber Lid For A Robotech Investing System

 

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From Ideation To Creation – G&S Jewelry Mfg Is Your Partner

We have all been there, great ideas but no one there to help you turn your ideas into a product you can hold in your hand. Well, the ownership and talented staff at G&S Jewelry Mfg want to be your partner from ideation to creation. Here is a brief summary of what we can do for you:

Computer Aided Design

Production of a Master

Molding of the Master

Casting of the First Article

Finishing

Painting

Inlay

Solder Assembly

Our staff have decades of experience to ensure that receive the best possible service. We have all of this capability in-house at our Albuquerque, New Mexico facility. Challenge us!

CAD – Computer Aided Design for The Jewelry Designer

Computer Aided Design or CAD is a wonderful tool for the jewelry designer. It allows for the creation of 3D images that can be evaluated in different views. With a few mouse clicks; CAD can also quickly provide options for size, texture, topography or messaging.

The CAD design will have a volume associated with it, so weights for different materials can readily be calculated to evaluate costs of manufacture. The CAD design can be saved in a variety of picture formats so that they can be attached to emails for customer approval.

Once approved, the CAD file can be converted into a Computer Aided Manufacturing (or Machining) file and the code created to machine the master in wax, butterboard or metal. For casting applications; these then go into mold making and then into casting.

One often overlooked advantage of CAD is the ability to render a design without having to cast or machine a single piece. This way small errors can be caught in the ideation process and remedied with very little trouble or time delay.

Let G&S Jewelry Mfg help you with your design needs and turn your ideas into beautiful jewelry! We are a small woman owned business with all of our manufacturing in the USA.

Centrifugal Casting of Lead-Free Pewter Jewelry

Centrifugal casting of lead-free pewter offers jewelry designers a lower cost alternative to sterling silver and bronzes. It is especially a good fit for large bulky pieces where metal content and weight would detrimentally impact cost.

Centrifugal casting systems clamp a two piece mold between two platens holding the mold firmly and in parallel to each other to ensure that the edges of the mold are sealed and the integrity of the cavity sound. The mold will then spin while molten pewter is then poured into the feed tube. The metal is pulled by the centrifugal force to the extremes of the mold and fills from the outer edge towards the feed tube. Solidification occurs while molten metal is still filling. The transition from metal to solid and the resulting shrink is backfilled by additional liquid metal. The result is a cast piece that has very little porosity and a smooth surface.

Lead-free pewter is the safest inexpensive pewter metal for jewelry applications. Keeping lead out of metals that will come in contact with the skin eliminates the chance that someone will pick up lead in their body as a result. This is critical for women’s jewelry where small children may put them in the mouth when being held.

G&S Jewelry Mfg has two centrifugal casting systems capable of high volume production of everything from small charms to large buckles measuring 3″ x 4″. We have full design, mastering and mold making capabilities on site. We are a small woman owned business with all of our production in the U.S.A.

The Purpose of 3D Printing in Jewelry Making

SBR23 The Purpose of 3D Printing in Jewelry MakingPeople want quality in all products they buy, but jewelry specifically comes with an expectation of lasting beauty. This means quality materials and attention to detail in the process. The term ‘hand-crafted’ usually brings to mind the idea of a single person hunched over a table, laboriously placing individual gems and shaping precious metals. However, with the advancement of technology, you can still have the highest quality end result while Continue reading