The Art of Darkness

Custom Printed Signet Rings

May 12th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Signet RingPropnomicon recently mentioned this custom 3D-printed Elder Sign Signet Ring and noted casually, “Like a growing number of Mythos items it was designed on a computer and then printed out at Shapeways.” And my brain went, “record scratch You can DO that?”

Why yes, yes you can. I am so behind the times.

Shapeways provides a variety of 3D design and printing services, and many of their users sell cool custom jewelry. Nonconformity, the shop owner who designed the Elder Sign ring, offers a ring from Once Upon a Time, and also does custom designs on request. If you search the Shapeways site for “signet ring” you’ll get lots of other designs including lions, skulls, and even My Little Pony. Several other shops also offer custom work, so if you have a family crest or other design that you’ve always wanted as a signet, you can check those out.

Depending upon the material selected, the rings are surprisingly inexpensive. A plastic one suitable for cosplay is around $12US, stainless steel is $25US, and brass is $50US. Even rings with fancier metals, like sterling silver or gold plating, are less than $100US.

This type of affordable bespoke design is a perfect accessory for a costume (or just to wear as jewelry). Dracula, for instance, surely wore a signet ring (there are some licensed ones floating around, such as this and this, that you can use for inspiration). Boris Karloff’s mummy wore a scarab. There’s a cool vintage-y “wolfman” ring here. And that doesn’t begin to cover all of the modern possibilities like a house crest from Harry Potter or Game of Thrones. (Obviously, many designs are licensed and can’t be copied exactly, but you should be able to create something that captures the flavor of the design without running afoul of copyright.)

If you’re handy with 3D design, you can cut out the middleman and use Shapeways to print your uploaded patterns directly. Custom rings made of an inexpensive material would be a very cool party or wedding favor, a useful way to identify team members in a LARP, and they’d also be handy for things like “largesse” at SCA events.

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