Jenny Wu, American architect, designer, and partner at Oyler Wu Collaborative, has recently worked with Stratasys to release her jewelry line and many of the pieces use 3D printing to achieve their innovative look.
Wu's first 3D printed jewelry collection, LACE, is a line of 3D printed, wearable designs like necklaces and rings inspired by line-based geometry and organic shapes.
"I wanted to design a range of jewelry that could be avant-garde yet wearable, and approached it from my architectural heritage of spatial and line-based geometries to form a bold but soft spectacle for the body. From my 15 years' experience with 3D printing for architectural projects, I knew it would deliver the capabilities to realize my creative vision for jewelry," Wu said. "3D printing offers an elegant aesthetic and enables different layers and densities of fine and detailed pieces to be intertwined and produced within hours instead of months."
According to Wu, FDM enables her to directly manufacture jewelry pieces and skip the prototype step entirely. Using ABS-M30 allowed her to create accurate, complex geometries and rather than try to hide them, she uses the striations typical of the 3D printing process to give her pieces "a unique velvety quality, as well as a robust, thick structure." Wu says the results are a wearable item that is at once both elegant and durable.
In addition to this latest work Wu has done with Stratasys, she's also collaborated with Solidscape in making what she calls her Papilio ring
Using the Solidscape MAX2 3D Printer, Wu says she could achieve a high precision and a refined surface finish which proved ideal for her jewelry items. The Papilio was made using a 3D printed wax model, and it was completed in sterling silver using the lost wax investment casting process. Once finished and hand polished, Wu's ring shows a lustrous appearance.
"3D printing is transforming the design industry and the possibilities for the fashion and accessories markets are endless," Wu said. "Before it was seen as avant-garde, but it's now reaching the consumer with cutting-edge, ready to wear products. I can't wait for LACE to be released to the market in the autumn and hope to collaborate with Stratasys on other designs."
Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director Art Fashion Design for Stratasys, says that as the technology expands in capability and materials choices, fashion mavens can expect the pace of such collaborations with artists will rapidly expand.
"It is a pleasure to share ideas and work closely with such a strong minded and distinguished designer, especially one who is so familiar with 3D printing capabilities," says Kaempfer. "It encourages us to keep pushing more boundaries with our 3D printing technology. When Jenny wore her first necklace, she was frequently asked where it could be purchased and now this is possible. I believe that these collaboration items in the LACE collection will be a great success and predict that there will be many more."
The LACE collection is currently in the final production stages, and Wu expects the final versions to be available in the autumn of 2014 at her store, jennywulace.com.