"From bespoke commissions to luxurious retail collections, every Grant Macdonald London piece is the realisation of a timeless, original design. That creativity, combining advanced design technologies with the craftsmanship of London’s great silversmithing heritage, is how Grant Macdonald London delivers precious metal luxury for today’s tastes that will be admired by generations to come." - Grant Macdonald
After pioneering electro-texturing in the 70s and laser cutting technology in the 80s and 90s, the team at Grant Macdonald London are always looking for the forefront of high-end tech that can produce wonderful and unusual works of art rendered in silver and gold.
As the technology of lasers marched on relentlessly, Grant’s eye snagged on 3D printing. On a visit to the Basel Fair in Switzerland in 2003, Grant and Alan were exploring the dark basement tooling sections, tucked away from the busy excitement of the watches and jewellery, when they noticed a company selling 3D printers for ‘rapid prototyping’. Within a few months, Grant had purchased one.
Grant’s son, George, was brought in to run the machine alongside the three-dimensional CAD system, and it quickly became a central part of our workshop’s process - thanks to the capacity to create master patterns and one-off parts that were essential when it came to creating swords, cutlery and models.
The ability for a customer to hold and feel the handle of a knife or the stem of a goblet in prototype form transformed the way Grant Macdonald London works with clients to ensure they are always delighted with the final product. Working with 3D Printing company Envisiontec, Grant and George helped in research to create a series of castable resins for the workshop, allowing us to cast in gold and silver directly from resins rather than through mould making and lost wax processes.
Over the following years, more 3D printers were introduced to the workshop, and they were set to work producing hundreds of cutlery handles every week in order to meet the demand which continues to this day - and our 3D printers can typically be found buzzing away in the corner of the office, bolstering the traditional skills of our craftsmen and allowing us to walk the line between state of the art and tried and tested.
To discover more about the history of technology within the workshop of Grant Macdonald London, check out the first instalment in this series, or explore our catalogue of silver and gold pieces.