Unique designs are what make Polychemy's jewellery shine

Polychemy's pendants with a dazzling snowflake design. Like snowflakes, each pattern is unique, says the company's founder, Mr Isaac.
Polychemy's pendants with a dazzling snowflake design. Like snowflakes, each pattern is unique, says the company's founder, Mr Isaac.PHOTO: POLYCHEMY

One of the most popular pieces of jewellery sold on 3D-printed jewellery Polychemy's website is a pendant with a dazzling snowflake design. Like snowflakes, each pattern is different and unique, said Polychemy founder Aaron Isaac, 27.

"We give customers a lot of unique designs in custom jewellery, such as rings, necklaces and pendants" said Mr Isaac.

Polychemy - the name is derived from a combination of polygon and alchemy - was started in Singapore last year.

Consumers pick out designs on the Polychemy online store and customise them according to their liking. For instance, they can customise monogrammed pendant designs with the shape of their initials. They can also send in their own designs.

Polychemy then creates a mould of the design using 3D printing, casts it in the metal of choice and ships it to the buyer. Prices for their jewellery start from over $100 for a pendant in sterling silver, and can go up to $2,000 for materials such as gold or platinum.

Mr Isaac said that 3D-printing allows for unique, intricate patterns as most of the modelling are first done virtually through modelling software. Programmers can also write algorithms that generate random, unique patterns, such as the variants in the snowflake pendant.

These patterns are very difficult to achieve through traditional methods given the intricacy of the patterns, said Polychemy's creative director Andrew Lam, 40.

"The traditional method for designing something is they take a hacksaw and carve out the shape," said Mr Lam.

Pointing to the snowflake pendant, he added: "It's not easy to hacksaw something like that."

Polychemy's ability to produce a large volume of customised jewellery caught the eye of American retail giant Wal-Mart, which partnered it in February this year as a vendor for the supermarket's line of personalised jewellery.

The company has a four-man team in Singapore, with Mr Isaac leading programming, Mr Lam heading design, and the other two doing sales.

Their designs are sent to factories in China or the United States to be printed and cast, which are then shipped to customers globally.

Mr Isaac declined to share sales figures, but said the website sees about 300 users customising jewellery every day.

"We have thousands of users creating unique jewellery on our site every month. The sales are a small percentage of total unique customisations a month," he said.

Their products are very popular among women, said Mr Lam.

"Actually, we get a lot of orders from men, who are buying something special for their girlfriends or wives," he said.

Lester Hio

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2016, with the headline 'Unique designs are what make Polychemy's jewellery shine'. Print Edition | Subscribe