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Thread: Casting & Polishing Costs

  1. #1
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    Apr 2020
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    Default Casting & Polishing Costs

    Hi all,

    I have designed a locket and have the STL files ready to be 3D printed and then cast and finished etc.

    I am excited to see the piece come to life but have just received a quote for the casting and finishing/polishing and I was suprised at how expensive this is.
    I have been quoted 44.66 + vat for the casting and metal costs which seems fair, and then 189.00 + vat for the polishing which I was suprised was so expensive. This would bring the total per locket, after set-up costs, to 233.66 + vat before I add the chain, gemnstones, and the mark-up. I am hoping to produce quite a few of these rather than a one-off so need to get the pricing and costs right.

    I could consider doing the polishing myself instead but I was hoping that someone might be able to advise if this cost seems fair and if anyone knows of any casters or polishers that they could recommend.
    I have been looking for other quotes but understandably it seems that a lot of companies aren't operating at the moment.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Sammy

  2. #2
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    It's the cost of labour in the West Sammy. We have a minimum wage. If you want it done more cheaply, you will have to go East, or roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. Dennis.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your reply Dennis, it’s appreciated.
    I didn’t mean to question or devalue the work that jewellers do, I’m just getting to grips with the trade and am keen to learn.
    Thanks, Sammy

  4. #4
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    44 seems a very very good quote to have the model printed and cast including the metal ? The polishing does seem expensive but it depends what it is I suppose.

  5. #5
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    How can you design a piece of jewellery to be model printed and cast if you have never made it before yourself? How would a novice go about this, or would one need to know more about the process of making it, without casting, before then going onto the casting route?
    Jules

  6. #6
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    My take on this is CAD will only do what you tell it. It doesn't know the rules if that makes sense, So if you have experience in making jewellery at the bench you have a massive head start. You just need to know how to work the cad program then you can build a ring like you would at the bench but in a virtual environment. The same physical rules apply, for example you wouldn't hand make a ring 0.5mm thick at the bench. You can easily make it .5 mm or even 0.1 in CAD, once you print it your stuck with a ring that's far to thin. It does give you freedom to design without the cost of hand making. that cost is transferred to the the software. I think You really need both sets of skills. I made lots of things that didn't work when I make them up and still do sometimes , with practice you start to learn what will work and what will not.
    Last edited by josef1; 21-06-2020 at 11:40 AM.

  7. #7
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    The polishing and finishing seems excessive but then when you are used to doing it all yourself you tend to forget the time it takes to do it properly and to a high quality. Without knowing what the piece looks like and how intricate the finishing would be it’s hard to comment.

    Jules. There have been a lot of people recently who say I’m new to jewellery but I’ve designed this, how do I make it?
    This is a completely alien concept to me as after 4 years training and 4 decades of continuing to learn new skills this seems like working back to front. I think you have to have at least some basic bench skills to understand the processes of design and what’s possible.After you know what is possible then you can move the boundaries and try what seems impossible. It might remain that but the fun and frustration is in the trying!
    Last edited by CJ57; 21-06-2020 at 12:10 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by josef1 View Post
    I think You really need both sets of skills. I made lots of things that didn't work when I make them up and still do sometimes , with practice you start to learn what will work and what will not.
    This is my point Joseph; I think you do need the skills of making, before you can design and have it cast.
    Jules

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ57 View Post
    The polishing and finishing seems excessive but then when you are used to doing it all yourself you tend to forget the time it takes to do it properly and to a high quality. Without knowing what the piece looks like and how intricate the finishing would be it’s hard to comment.

    Jules. There have been a lot of people recently who say I’m new to jewellery but I’ve designed this, how do I make it?
    This is a completely alien concept to me as after 4 years training and 4 decades of continuing to learn new skills this seems like working back to front. I think you have to have at least some basic bench skills to understand the processes of design and what’s possible.After you know what is possible then you can move the boundaries and try what seems impossible. It might remain that but the fun and frustration is in the trying!
    I totally agree Caroline. To my mind it is a total cop out to design something and get someone else to make it without knowing the skills, time and effort involved in the making, but its a very prevalent attitude now. I have lost count of the number of people who have asked me to make something to include as a piece of their work, when they haven't made it!
    Jules

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