Launching today, Trove is a platform that lets users customize and buy personalized, 3D-printed jewelry. Based in NYC, the company has raised a $640k seed round from Resolute Ventures and Uprise Ventures.
Although 3D printing has started to become a viable way to manufacture products in certain industries, the technology hasn’t yet become a serious manufacturing method for most consumer goods. This is because most parts are still printed in plastic, a material that just isn’t suitable for some products (including high-end jewelry).
However, some 3D printing services have begun “printing” jewelry made of metals ranging anywhere from stainless steel to 18-caret Gold.
Here’s how it works: A 3D printer is used to create a mold for the jewelry, which the precious metal is then poured inside of to create the piece.
Printing these one-off molds allows for some serious customization. Trove, which is launching with around 30 jewelry designs on its platform, estimates that its customization tools allow users to turn those 30 designs into hundreds of thousands of unique pieces.
While designs start at around $50 dollars for a piece cast in bronze, the company’s gold options can quickly jump into the high hundreds, or even thousands of dollars.
Interestingly, the company also offers a “try before you decide” option, where the company will send you a free, 3-D printed plastic version of your jewelry creation. Trove explains that this is so users can try on jewelry for fit before having it made out of more expensive materials.
Trove is powered by Shapeways, who are currently handling the printing and shipping of both the plastic prototype and the finished piece. Brian Park, cofounder of Trove, explained that Shapeways’ API made it easy for the team to focus on perfecting the customization aspect of the platform, and leave the printing to someone else.
As 3D printing matures, users will continue to look for the technology’s “killer feature” that will really set it apart from traditional manufacturing. Jewelry customization, an expensive luxury that has been traditionally been reserved for the rich and famous, could just be that feature.