Over the last few months I have been thinking a lot about the tools that I need and the ways in which I can innovatively use the 3D printing process whilst not spending more money than I would to just buy a tool. I have gone through quite a few different ideas and developed my tooling to where I feel happy to now start testing prototypes.
The mallet handle progressed from just directly 3D printing a mallet to breaking it down and looking at each part. The first idea, was to CNC mill a multifunctional handle which could be used by screwing on and off mallet heads which could be printed or milled from different materials such as wood or hard resin.
I designed a handle which had a nice form and would have looked great in wood. Before the chance came to mill this I had developed the idea further, which I was glad for. I decided that I could go even further with the design of the tool and develop it specifically for my own use. I took clay imprints of my handprints as I would be holding certain tools. I then 3D scanned these to develop into handles for my tools.
I have also been developing various hammers in CAD and testing the cost of them to 3D print against the cost to buy from reputable jewellery suppliers. The average cost of a jewellers hammer is around £15-£30 depending on the use. There are some more expensive hammers around £60-£80 with changeable heads.
I kept developing and changing my hammer to make it affordable to print. I managed to get the cost down to £24.02 to be printed in steel. One advantage to 3D printing this was that I was able to customise the hammer head with my hallmark. I will make a separate handle for this hammer to the mallet as it is much smaller. I may either carve one in wood using my 3D printed chisel or CNC mill another handle with my handprint engrained.