To be very honest, women generally don’t have high expectations when it comes to wedding proposals, but it’s certainly a nice gesture. Also, it’s a chance for them to brag about how sweet their fiancé is to their family and friends. For the men, most find it a daunting task. How will they get the right ring size, cut or design? Not so for Alwin Wong, who custom designed a ring and actually had it printed with a 3D printer to make sure it was exactly what he wanted before he sent it off to be custom made by a jeweller. Talk about devotion. Not everything went according to plan during the proposal, but most importantly, she said ‘yes’.
Alwin: “I used a 3D printer to print a large scale and a 1:1 scale model as a reference for the jeweller, who then made the ring. This way, I could let the jeweller know exactly what I wanted in the ring design, instead of just explaining it to him and drawing vague sketches on paper, which is not as effective.”
#01 Picking the Rock
I picked a diamond according to my budget. I determined the carat and dimensions of the diamond before starting my design, so that I could have a proper scale of how the diamond and ring would look like in the 3D model.
#02 Designing the Ring
Using a traditional side paved cathedral setting diamond ring as my base design, I designed and created a 3D model of the ring using 3D design software. As Sarah likes paved diamond rings – a ring with smaller diamonds at the sides – I added some simple tweaks that would help the centre diamond stand out more, as well as a personal touch in the form of the letters “A” and “S”, which are our initials, located under the cathedral’s arms.
#03 Testing the Design
I 3D printed a 1:1 scale physical model through imakerzone.com to test its strength and make sure that it looked good in real life. With the physical model, I could know roughly how strong the setting would be, and whether it could hold the diamond without breaking. I also showed the physical model to the jeweller to obtain their views and feedback. I was initially worried that the “A” and “S” would be too small for the jeweller to create, but I was glad to know that it was indeed possible.
#04 Improving the Design
I adjusted my design based on what I had learnt with the physical model; for example, improving the claw’s thickness to increase its strength, and tweaking the design to make it look better.
#05 Ordering the Ring
I printed the final design in 1:1 scale and 5:1 scale, and passed the models to the jeweller. I had initially wanted to cast the ring myself using a furnace, but I had to abandon the idea because the 3D printer was not able to print with enough precision and detail for it to be used as a casting model, and I also did not have access to the necessary tools.
We had known since a year back that we would be getting engaged soon, so we went ring shopping. Through that, I was able to find out the types of designs that she likes.
Without her knowing, I took an old ring of hers and measured it with my pinky finger.
I knew Sarah likes wooden products, especially boxes, and it seemed fitting to have the box custom designed and made to accompany the ring. Fortunately I found a really helpful guy on Etsy who helped to design and make the box according to my preferences.
“My original idea was to bring Sarah to join a friend on a short flight around Shah Alam/KL on the pretext of ‘taking casual photos for them for their upcoming wedding’. It was to be done in a light aircraft, which would then fly us over a field in front of Setia City Mall, where my friends would’ve placed large words on the ground that read ‘Will You Marry Me, Sarah Yong?’ To do this, I had obtained the services of a light aircraft flying school that I found on Groupon, and briefed them on the plan.
“Unfortunately, on the day itself, the haze was bad and the aircraft was not able to take off due to the low visibility. We tried waiting, and I was praying hard for the wind to blow the haze away, but even after an hour of waiting it did not clear, so we proceeded with Plan B, which was to postpone the supposed photoshoot and go straight to lunch at Setia City Mall. I dropped a quick message to my friends there to readjust the words so that it was readable from inside the Mall, and once there, we brought her to an ice cream stall that was next to the window that overlooked the field. There, she finally saw the words, and during her initial shock, I dropped down to one knee and popped the question with this ring in hand.”
Photo by MultreeProduction
Photo by SONNELphotography