Sterling Silver

What is Sterling Silver

Silver is an alloy composed of 93% sterling silver, 4% copper and 3% zinc. It’s most well-known for its use in jewelry, but its applications are actually quite vast. When it comes to 3D printing, it can be useful in decorative designs and electrical components, in addition to stylish jewelry.

It is important to note that it can tarnish over time. Silver is stable in pure oxygen and water. However, it reacts with sulfur compounds that are often present in air and water. This can cause a black sulfide layer to form on the outside. In this case, regular cleanings may be needed to maintain the shine.

Regardless, Silver is an excellent choice due to its non-toxic properties and high quality finish.

Properties

Silver is a precious metal with very high electrical and thermal conductivity.

For more specifications, the table below shows the exact properties of Silver.

Printing Method

Silver models are 3D printed through casting. Casting is a common technique that uses molds to produce a small series of functional metal parts. It is particularly useful for fast production of high-quality prototypes or end-use products.

3D printing is useful in this technology to print the original wax model. This is often completed through stereolithography (SLA) technology with a high-detailed finish. The mold is then cast around the wax model. Once set, the wax model is melted and drained, leaving a void in the shape of the model in the mold. Then, the mold can be filled with Silver. This method is ideal for producing jewelry and other small-sized metal components.

Design Specifications

Thickness & Geometry

The maximum size of the model will depend on the print bed of the 3D printer. It is not advised to 3D print the model in parts to be assembled. The minimum size will depend on the casting. Please refer to the specific casting type for these specifications. Models that are too small will not be able to be filled.

Details

The minimum wall thickness for Silver is 0.8 mm to ensure it can hold its own weight. If a wall thickness of less than 0.8 mm is desired, you may need to choose a different material that can be used for thinner designs.

For small details, a minimum spacing of 0.3 mm is required to ensure the wax does not get trapped.