Sterling silver

accueil detail size matière première
accueil small detail small size small matière première small

Mirror polished


Here you will find plenty of information, tricks, know-how and, advice to help you with 3D printing your project in silver material. You will learn:

General information

Silver material

argent info generales

The properties of the sterling silver used for Sculpteo’s 3D prints are 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of other metals. Our technique creates solid models which are relatively sensitive to wear and tear. Our 3D printed models are comparable in quality to jewels one would buy at a large scale jewelry store.

Processing times and pricing

The printing price of your design is calculated automatically the moment it is placed online. As you modify your object you will note that the price changes automatically. The pricing is based on a serie of factors, including: volume of material used, size of object, and multiple other factors.

Turn around time for our silver material is 15 to 21 business days. That delay can vary depending on our 3D printers' load. The estimated shipping time is also calculated automatically as the object is uploaded.

Delivery time should be added to processing time and depends on the delivery option you choose.

Printing techniques

silver process

For our silver 3D prints, we use a lost-wax casting technique, where the original wax model is first printed using our 3D printers. From there a mold is made around the wax, before it is melted and filled with silver, creating your object. We go into further detail below:

  • Model transferred to 3D printer
  • After creating your design with a program dedicated to 3D modeling and uploading it to our website, we automatically generate a set of supports for the model such that it can be printed in wax. Those supports are removed after the printing process.

  • Wax object is printed
  • Our in house 3D wax printer is a ProJet 3500 CPX HD. The printer uses Multi Jet Printing process to fabricate the wax model. In short, small liquid wax layers are deposited on a tray and solidified until the final object is created. The process allows for high precision in your designs.

  • Casting preparation
  • Turn around time for our silver material is 15 to 21 business days. That delay can vary depending on our 3D printers' load. The estimated shipping time is also calculated automatically as the object is uploaded.

  • Wax casting of object
  • From there the wax object is casted. The wax is melted out of the mold and then replaced with liquid silver before being left to cool.

  • Cast removal and finishing
  • The cast is then removed by hand to ensure the solidarity of the object. If any polishing or sanding techniques were ordered, they too are carried out by hand to ensure the object does not break.

Uses and maintenance

Our silver models are assumed to encounter prolonged skin contact, and will cause no harm in doing so. In fact, our silver models are particularly adept for jewelry creation.

Our silver models are assumed to encounter prolonged skin contact, and will cause no harm in doing so. In fact, our silver models are particularly adept for jewelry creation.


Nous proposons 2 finitions différentes pour les surfaces extérieures de votre objet en argent:

  • Rough: The model goes through a quick sanding process, removing any of the large impurities in the object. The remaining surface is rough but wearable as a ring or otherwise.
  • Mirror Polish: The model is polished to a mirror shine in three steps through a tribofinishing machine. The hand polishing uses a method of subtractive polishing, thus finer details may be less visible after the process. The inside of the object will also not be polished.

Design guides

Printing resolution

Standard layer thickness 25µm

Our 3D printer, the Project 3500 CPX HD, allows us to print in high definition with a layer height of only 0.025 mm.

As a result, it is important that your uploaded file is the highest quality possible, such that no triangulation will occur in the final print. Yet, keep in mind that your 3D file cannot be up to 50Mb in size.

Size limitations

Maximum size 60 x 80 x 100 mm
Minimum size 2.4 x 2.4 x 0.8 mm

silver size

The maximum size of your models are limited by the physical size of our 3D printers - nothing can be printed larger than the printer bed.

The minimum size of your model was determined as a result of the casting. A model smaller than the parameters given is unable to complete a successful cast to be refilled with silver.

Minimum thickness and geometry of your 3D model

Minimum wall thickness 0.8mm
Minimum wall thickness stemmed elements 1 mm
Minimum wall thickness particular design aspects 1 mm

silver size

The walls of your design must adhere to a minimum thickness of 0.8 mm in order to guarantee the structure will be supported without breaking under its own weight. If the walls of your model are less than 0.8 mm, you should simply thicken the walls in 3D designing program or choose a material more adapted for thin designs.

A stemmed element is a design aspect which is at least twice as long as it is thick. For unsupported and stemmed elements or parts of the design with a particular design constraint, it is also important to respect a minimum thickness of 1 mm in order to guarantee the object will not break.

With a 0.8 wall thichness, your design will be slightly flexible. To obtain more rigidity, we advice a 2mm wall thickness. Silver is a relatively malleable and heavy material, it can be distorted if too much weight is applied on an area of ​​your object. We recommend that you thicken the most stressed parts, or choose a more fitting material to your design.

Good to know

Silver is a relatively malleable material. Most stressed and fragile area may be distorted. We recommend that you thicken them to avoid distortions.

Sculpteo offers an online solidity check tool which highlights parts of the print that may be too thin for a print. From there you are able to tweak your design in order to create an object that is an appropriate thickness. To use it, you just need to upload your 3D file, select your material and clic on “Verification” tab.

Do not forget

Keep in mind that our solidity check tool does not detect physical aberrations such as floating parts, unstable position, part supporting too much weight relative to its thickness, etc. Particular care must be given to the geometry of your design and the most stressed parts must be thicken.

Etching and embossing

Minimum size of details 0.4 mm
Minimum height and width for a readable text width : 0.5mm
height : 1.5mm
Enlargement ratio 1/1

silver thickness

For silver, the main determining factor in a details minimum size is the casting process. As an object is copied into a mold then refilled with silver, some etched and embossed details become more complicated to fill. Thus in order for a detail and text to be visible and will not break we recommend following our recommended sizes at the very least. To ensure a better visibiliy, details' width must be at least as big as their depth.

Enclosed and interlocked volumes

Enclosed parts ? No
Interlocking parts ? No

silver interloked parts

Silver models do not have the ability to be printed with objects enclosed within another object. This is because the object is first printed in wax, which requires supports for otherwise free-floating objects.

Minimum spacing and clearance

Minimum spacing between fixed walls 0.3 mm

silver space

For a successful 3D print in wax that will later be casted into silver, a minimum space of 0.3 mm is required. This allots enough space for the excess was liquid to drained from between the object’s walls during the printing process. A gap of less than that will result in a fault in the final design.

Piece assembly

Assembly ? No

silver assembly

Assembled pieces are currently not possible with our silver printing option.


Hollowing ? No

silver hollowing

As the print is first carried out in wax, the object cannot be hollowed in the manner some of our other materials are able.

Files with multiple objects

Files with multiple objects ? No

silver multishell

This is not possible to 3D print a 3D file containing several objects in silver.

Technical specifications

Composition of our silver material Pure silver: 92.5%
Another metal: 7.5%

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