Birmingham City University works with local partners on R&D project.
A collaboration between Birmingham’s City University and jewellery manufacturers in the city is hoping to turn the UK into a world leader in 3D printing of jewellery and its components.
Delcam and Cookson Precious Metals, as well as Future Factories and Finishing Techniques, will work with the university on education, research and development with a total budget of £471,000, almost half of which is being provided by UK innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).
The project, titled Precious, will see the university’s Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre (JIIC) working with industry to advance and promote 3D jewellery printing across the UK.
JIIC centre manager Gay Penfold explained: “The UK is an internationally recognised and important supplier of quality jewellery to the world’s markets but is constantly threatened by cheap imports from low labour cost economies.
“The Precious project is intended to offer a viable alternative manufacturing option to those who design and supply jewellery at the middle-to higher-end of the bespoke and personalised jewellery market. New online business models that exploit additive manufacturing [aka 3D printing] are expected to be created and should add innovative design driven impetuous to the more traditional high street retailing sectors.”