“The surface was perfect on the final piece I got from casting. The smoothness of the wax model – the precision – really gave it that extra polish.”
Jenny Wu, Founder and Designer, LACE
A natural fit
For Jenny Wu, collaborating with Solidscape® on her new wearable 3D art jewelry collection was an easy decision. A celebrated architect, designer and partner at Oyler Wu Collaborative, Wu has been utilizing 3D printing for well over 15 years.
“As architects, it’s part of our process,” she explains. Wu wanted produce something unexpected as she ventured into jewelry design, and she knew 3D printing would provide the vehicle to realize her vision. “3D printing allows me to build in all the delicacies of designs that are similar to my large-scale architectural work.”
Wu partnered with Solidscape® and Stratasys® to build her LACE collection — a series of ready-to-wear 3D printed jewelry inspired by line-based geometry and intricate, organic movement.
Complex geometry, smooth finish
The Papilio ring pictured above is the perfect example of Wu’s fluid design, evoking the graceful fluttering movement of a butterfly wing. Once the complex Papilio wax model was 3D printed, it was cast in sterling silver using the lost wax investment casting process. The ring was then finished and hand polished to achieve its lustrous appearance.
The Solidscape® MAX² 3D Printer delivers high precision, 100 percent castability and a refined surface finish, making it ideal for Wu’s delicate designs in particular and small jewelry pieces in general. Of the approximately 5,500 3D printers used in the jewelry industry worldwide, nearly 4,000 of them are Solidscape printers.
3D printing’s ability to generate prototypes quickly and cost-effectively has been an instrumental part of Wu’s design process.
“It’s been fun to look at pieces as a whole – much more rewarding than seeing an image of a ring, for example. I try the jewelry on and see how it works, how it feels,” she says. “Then I get the angles and geometry just right before making the final product.”
The LACE collection debuted to rave reviews in the Fall of 2014, and it’s just the beginning for Wu. She looks forward to evolving her designs alongside advances in 3D technology and materials. “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.”