Adding Hallmarks/Engravings to Designs
Thank you to the youtube subscriber who asked me how to do this… I think this video and my post description should help you with learning how to engrave your virtual Blender 2.82 designs with the hallmarks you wish to include in your custom jewelry designs.
Hallmarks are important. They can be like a copyright notice for your designs. When a customer comes to me and asks me to make them a custom ring, pendant or necklace, I always add my own hallmark. You should practice this too. If your work is really good, then people will remember your hallmarks, and seek you out. That is a good thing for those of us in the business.
How difficult is it to do this in Blender?
Adding custom engraving or hallmarks to your designs is not difficult at all. It does, however, take some practice, and knowledge of working with Blenders Modifiers to perform most of these tasks.
The modifiers we use in the video tutorial are the curve modifier, the re-mesh modifier, and the edgesplit modifier. Knowing how these all work is important, and once you’ve had a bit of practice, you will be impressed at how easy it is to perform these simple tasks.
What objects will we be working with?
In this tutorial, we only work with three different objects to show you how to perform this simple function. These objects are, a cube, which we will be converting into a ring shank, the Curve object, Bezier Circle, and the text object, which is actually a curve object we will need to convert to a mesh object when we are ready.
The cube, of course, is a mesh object that we can make many style changes to while hard-surface modeling it. The mesh object itself can have modifiers applied to it. Mesh objects are different then curves or text curves in that they are editable on the 3d viewport for modeling.
The Bezier curves we use in this tutorial are used as round circles to help us align our text objects to the circumfrence of the ring, both inside diameter and outer diameter. In this example, you could just use one curve circle, but I actually used three, as I became a bit “delete happy” while designing this for the tutorial.
To reuse the bezier circle, once the object has been applied with it, you can simply re-use it the same way you did prior, or re-size it for the next step. This is totally up to you, and normally, I just re-use the circle to apply many objects to it.
The text function or text objects in Blender are actually curved objects, similar to the circle or curved lines. We can make changes to them, but they are not editable as a hard surface object like a ring. or what ever else you choose to model.
Once you’ve set up your text the way you want it, it is good practice to convert it to a mesh object as we did in the video, and then use the “remesh” modifier on it to remesh the design of the text. This allows you to create a better model that can be adjusted to what ever you want it to be.
Which Blender 2.82 modifiers are we going to use?
If you’ve been following along with these tutorials, you will know that modifiers are tools built into blender that allow us to address functionality to mesh models. They can help to make our models look better, completely change them, or to convert them into something artist desire.
The modifiers we will be using in this example are as follows…
The Curve Modifier: This modifier allows us to take a mesh object we have modeled in Blender, and if there are enough sub-divisions within the models design, we can actually apply a curve to the object, while following a curve either as a circle, or other style.
The curve modifier requires two different objects to exist on our screen or 3d viewport. First you should have a well modeled and subdivided mesh object. Second a curve, of almost any style, as long as it is a cure object.
You first select the model you want to modify along the curve, and then add the “curve” modifier to it using that tool panel. You can then select from the modifier panel, the curve object you wish to have the mesh object follow. Once you are happy with its placement, rotation and location along the curve, simply “Apply” the curve modifier to the mesh object, and it makes the transformation permanent.
The Edge split modifier: This is a modifier that will take a mesh model, allow you to use the smoothing tool on it, and by applying the edge split, sharpens up the details of our model. It has several different settings, but for the most part, the default settings work very well for me.
Practice using this modifier on your hard surface models, and let me know what you think.
Boolean Modifier: We also use the boolean tools here just like I have in many of the previous tutorials. The boolean tool or modifier, depending on how you choose to use it, allows us to add, merge, or review mesh differences to our designs. Used properly, you can achieve artistic designs that are beautiful, functional and fun.
What else can we do with this example?
While jewelry designers and jewelry artists love to add hallmarks to their items, the process of performing this function in Blender can be used in other ways.
As in the video, I added a woman’s name to the top of the ring. This is meant to show you that you can create custom items for people, such as a mothers ring, and engrave the name’s of children right into the surface of the design, before you send the design out for printing and casting.
In one of the upcoming videos, we are going to do exactly that.
Are there limitations with Hallmarking in Blender?
When using the text/mesh tools to cut out a word, hallmark or logo into something as small as a ring shank, you have to keep in mind the limitations of the equipment and tools that are going to be used to 3d print this design out, especially at the typical size of a ring or pendant.
Commonly, when a jewelry designer makes a ring, the model is generally wider at the tope of the ring. This may be a better place to add a hallmark to your design as you have more room to work with. typically, a ring shank may be as narrow as 2 mm, at the bottom, and this would be difficult for any 3d printer to get right, trying to print recessed text that small.
The top of the ring, may be wider, my several millimeters, and this makes room to add in larger hallmarks, which then, can be printed and cast better and guarantying that your designs will be legible.
So, the limitation is the type of 3d printer, resin or wax that it is using to print your model design, and allow it to be clear, easy to see and easy to read.
I hope that all this helps you go forward and keep creating beautiful jewelry that you can show off to your friends, family and customers.
Thank you for taking the time.