YC London upgrades to EnvisionTEC 3D Printers
Yianni and Eva Constantinou founded YC LONDON in 2004. It is a family-run jewelry business that was established as a manufacturing jeweler in Hatton Garden, London. Both the founders of YC LONDON shares a strong family connection and history in the jewelry industry.
Eva was brought up in the jewelry world with her father starting in Hatton Garden back in the 1960s, and Yianni had started his apprenticeship at the age of 16, so between them, they knew what they were doing.
YC LONDON has grown it’s business a lot since 2004. The company now acts both as a manufacturing jeweler and has an online and offline retail presence.
The unique bespoke designs by Yianni are highly popular and are sold across the world. Some handcrafted designs are so popular that they have found their way into the hands of celebrities, with Rihanna and 50cent sporting the now infamous YC Handcuff. YC LONDON was also commissioned to make jewelry for both the late Jerry Lewis and Sir Alex Ferguson.
Sol Constantinou is the 4th generation jeweler, who has now joined the family business. YC LONDON always aims to grow and invest in new technology to expand their business.
Why 3D Printing?
YC LONDON is known for traditionally making high-quality pieces, using hand-carved wax models. The molding of wax required a great deal of skill to achieve an even close to consistent, symmetrical shape.
Yianni and Eva saw have spent many years working on traditional techniques. When they saw other jewelers starting to use digital solutions, they were amazed at the advantages that they were bringing.
EnvisionTEC 3D printing technology speeds up the production and allows jewelers to produce more complex pieces than ever before, with delicate filigree and fine surface quality that requires less finishing. This technology also provides flexibility in designing and manufacturing of jewelry. It allows customer ideas to be turned into reality much more accurately and quickly. The use of high wax materials allows for clean casting, and the prints are resilient enough for customers to try pieces on before them being cast.
“We were interested in a 3D printer mainly to speed up our work output. Printing is so much faster than hand production, also the detail available is far greater. The ability to show the customer their piece in a finished print, then be able to change it without wasting too much time or material has also been a godsend. – Eva Constantinou, Founder, YC London”
Some other advantages that 3D printing provides to the jewelry industry are the fast printing of tough resins for the production of silicone molds. These molds can then be used time and time again to reproduce designs.
Yianni and Evan knew that if they want to grow there business and stay competitive, then they need to invest in digital technology. They both decided to scour the market, looking at several brands from around the world. None that they looked at seemed to have local distributors or the comprehensive technical support they wanted. After talking to a couple of colleagues and listening to others in the industry, they heard about EnvisionTEC and began to review the brand.
YC LONDON reached the area distributor and saw a demonstration of several machines including, the EnvisionTEC Micro desktop model with Q-View and EC3000 resins.
“EnvisionTEC seemed to be the best product by far. The quality of the prints and the resins they have is amazing. Other machines didn’t have as high a spec as EnvisionTEC. Also, the distributor was local, so the experience was more personal and all the help and advice we needed was right on our doorstep. – Eva Constantinou, Founder, YC London”.
After reviewing the compact EnvisionTEC Micro series 3D printer and the range of material, YC LONDON purchased it.
“We got the EnvisionTEC Perfactory Micro. We mainly need it for bespoke rings and small pendants. It sits in our office and takes up little room. – Eva Constantinou, Founder, YC London”.
The EnvisionTEC 3D printer works seamlessly with the Gemvision Matrix software that was also supplied by the local distributor. The printer and software combination allows YC London to instantly print demonstration pieces for customers, and final models in EC3000 for casting.
“The 3D Printer has been amazing. We can finish a ring and print it out in the Q-View resin in around an hour and the customer can try it on and see how it looks without major cost or hassle. Customers love this technology. – Eva Constantinou, Founder, YC London”.
The team at YC aims in expanding the use of 3D printing technology and investing in a bigger printer. Though there are other brands in the market, the intention is to remain with EnvisionTEC, due to the quality of the prints, the resins available, and the support from the distribution partner.
“We’d like to purchase a larger EnvisionTEC machine for some of our bigger projects, it would be good to be able to print large pendants, bangles and so on. The product is remarkable. I would always look at EnvisionTEC first for any future equipment as my printer has been extremely reliable. – Eva Constantinou, Founder, YC London”