Hong Kong sees a 3D revolution in jewelry manufacturing

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Designer Elaine Shiu had never thought of opening a jewelry business until she worked as an interpreter at an international jewelry conference in Hong Kong.

After a year, she decided to quit her job to start her own business. She served as CEO of Shanshu Jewelry, which focuses on selling jewelry made from precious coral, from 2010 to 2015.

Ejj Jewelery is the second company of Elaine Shiu, created with two others. Her partners are responsible for business development and marketing, while Elaine focuses on researching designs and creating new products.

She researched new materials and focused on the application of digitization. In 2017, Ejj launched jewelry created with a 3D printer, becoming the first brand in Hong Kong to use this new technology in jewelry making. It took him a year of study, research and experimentation before creating the first product.

The company started with the objective of conquering the markets of Hong Kong and China. To compete with individual designers, as well as larger jewelry companies, Elaine Shiu opted for product diversification. A special feature of Ejj is that the brilliance of Italian silver jewelry does not depend on the gemstones, but on the cutting technique.

A bracelet made with the 3D printer has a unique color and design.

Before the product is loaded into a specialized printer, it is designed entirely using digital graphics applications like Autodesk Fusion 360, SketchUp and Rhinoceros. This allows Elaine to fine tune every detail, control the parameter as well as the size of the product to suit many customers.

Then the design is entered into the 3D printer to create shape and color according to predetermined parameters. After completing this part of the process, the surface of the product is treated and gemstones are added to create highlights. Thanks to the elasticity of the material, finished products like bracelets can be easily adjusted to fit the size of the wearer by pressing it lightly 1-2 times.

With the application of technology and the reduction of manual process, the price of the product, ranging from 750 HKD to 1,500 HKD (equivalent to 96 USD – 192 USD), is quite reasonable and suitable for young people.

Elaine also uses 3D printers to create innovative designs for silver and gold jewelry, shortening production time but still able to deliver unique designs.

An elegant 3D ring design from Ejj

An elegant 3D ring design from Ejj.

“Jewelry made with 3D printers is still new, and while it hasn’t been received as well as traditional products, sales are still impressive compared to our company’s initial expectations. We are confident that this product line will grow due to its unique advantages,” said Elaine Shiu.

For achieving breakthroughs in the use of new materials and designs, Ejj was awarded “Hong Kong’s Most Innovative Jeweler 2017”. Elaine Shiu also received the “Asia-Pacific Enterprenuer of the Year 2017” award, given by the NGO Enterprise Asia.

Ejj Jewelery products are distributed through Design Gallery chains operated by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). The brand has also extended its reach to major cities in mainland China, including Shenzhen, Shanghai, Chengdu and Chongqing.

Elaine Shiu showcased her products at the In Style Hong Kong exhibition, held at HCMC on September 20-21.

Elaine Shiu showcased her products at In Style – Hong Kong Exhibition, held at HCMC on September 20-21.

In 2017, Ejj successfully cooperated with luxury hotel group Banyan Tree in Bangkok, Thailand. Currently, the company has entered into negotiations or a franchise, which has the potential to increase the number of its stores to hundreds. Elaine Shiu also lists Vietnam as a high-potential market, given its population of over 90 million and many similarities with Thailand.

On September 20 and 21, Ejj Jewelry was officially available in Vietnam via In Style – Hong Kong exhibition.

Elaine Shiu said she hoped to find a good partner to expand her market.

Bao An

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