Before we were engaged, I knew that my wife was a fan of jewelry and rings, but had very particular tastes. Her biggest criteria in an engagement ring was that it had to be “not stick-y up-y” so that it would not catch on things when putting on jackets or playing sports. After searching in jewelry stores and online, I was disappointed in the selection of rings that presented a smaller stone (which I knew she wanted) in a simple, classy manner. As an engineer and designer, I took this challenge as an opportunity to personalize the process and make a ring we both would enjoy. Using surface modeling techniques, I designed the ring in SolidWorks, 3D printed the result, and brought my design to several jewelers. When one of the jewelers responded to my design by inviting me into his workshop, I knew I had found the right guy for the job.

I finished the ring before my wife and I set off on an overland African motorcycle adventure. While she knew a proposal was in the works, she didn’t know I had already made a ring. She did know, however, that I did not want to bring a brand new engagement ring on an almost 12,000km motorcycle trip through Western Europe and West Africa. My proposal with an actual scale 3D printed model came as a complete surprise.