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IMO: Previously Unthinkable Shapes in Jewelry Thanks to 3D Printing

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With the Projet 2500 Wax printer, this historic company seamlessly integrates additive manufacturing into traditional lost wax casting processes.

Innovation and craftsmanship in the production of high-end jewelry

IMO srl is a company from Vicenza, in the heart of the goldsmith district. Its history begins in 1968, over 50 years ago, during which IMO has transformed and optimized its production processes to meet the needs of the market and to always keep up with the times.


Initially the reference products were bracelets for watches, later the company moved on to the production of its own complete lines of gold cases and bracelets, thus specializing in the production of high quality mechanical components.


With the generational change, IMO has further renewed itself by diversifying its production and specializing in high-end jewelery. Today IMO is the reference supplier for the most important jewelry brands.


The company carries out the complete manufacturing process of its jewels internally: starting from the raw material, it creates the drawn items, makes the machining, 3D printing. The casting, assembly and finishing processes also take place in-house. Carrying out and having the entire process carried out by our expert staff is definitely an added value, because this allows us to offer the customer answers in a shorter time. IMO is able to do 3D modeling and to create objects with particular designs that its customers request on order.

3D printing to speed up customer responses

In the past, the samples were made with traditional systems, that is with casting or with numerical control machines, and the development time required was really long.

About ten years ago, IMO decided to introduce 3D printing to the company for the first time, with the aim of speeding up the responses to be offered to its customers, who required samples in ever-faster times.

Production times were reduced, but the first 3D printer purchased only produced a few pieces at a time. Business needs continued to grow and a more productive machine was needed.


“We learned about 3DSystems’ Projet 2500 WAX, which prints in wax. It is a very fast machine that not only allows the prototype to be built in a short time, but also to mass produce, always guaranteeing the highest quality “.


With the purchase of this 3D printer, the time required to have the sample in hand has been drastically reduced: it has gone from several days (or in some cases even weeks) to a single day. “If, ten years ago, the introduction of 3D printing was a great innovation, today”, says Gianni Corrado of IMO, “it would be really unthinkable to do without the 3D printer”.


We met 3DZ precisely when purchasing this machine: the professionalism they have shown us and the technical assistance they have always provided us have positively impressed us “.

The 3DZ experts recommended this printer to IMO for the quality of the wax models obtained. M2 Cast wax is 100% meltable. The soluble support material does not affect the areas on which it adheres, thus ensuring excellent surface quality. The Projet 2500 Wax is also characterized by large print volumes, high speed, high resolution and a print layer of only 16 microns.


“Now the Projet 2500 Wax printer is used continuously, precisely because of the great advantages it offers us” Gianni Corrado, CEO of IMO


3D printing allows you to design objects with maximum geometric freedom. And thanks to the Projet 2500 Wax it is possible to turn them into reality. This printer is designed to produce, even in high volumes, without ever compromising on quality. The pieces obtained in 100% wax are then perfectly integrated into the standard lost wax casting process, guaranteeing an always reliable result.


Michele Toniolo, Director of IMO also speaks: “3D printing allows us to create objects that are impossible to make with traditional systems: pieces with particular hollowing, undercuts, very complex geometries”. And all this with a cost and time saving. “With the 2500 Wax you can automatically create a very fast picking system which then leaves no residue on the final piece. Removing the supports is extremely simple and the pieces obtained have an excellent quality. ”


“Starting from a sketch, we then create the drawing in 3D. The file is sent to the printer that makes the prototype. We then proceed by melting the wax with micro-casting, and after a while we already have the piece in hand.


Here at IMO, the printer works day and night, continuously. And in our absence, the machine automatically recovers the files that are in the print queue. Today it would be unthinkable to do without the 3D printer ”.


“For a customer, for example, we make a very fine and light portafoulard that would be impossible to do with traditional systems. The thickness of the piece, in fact, is only 0.55 mm, it is completely empty and it is completely covered with a pavé of diamonds. Making it with rubber would not really be feasible ”.


IMO managers add: “In the future we would like to further expand our capacity to allow us to further diversify our offer. We will therefore certainly evaluate the purchase of an additional printer in the wide range of products offered by 3DZ “.