Additive Manufacturing Strategies

DCT’s 3D Printed Fine Jewelry Cross-Pollinates Architecture and Natural Forms

ST Medical Devices

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dct83D printed jewelry is growing as a design concept primarily because the designers seem to have such a stimulating time creating original pieces. Take Canadian jewelry designers Daniel Christian Tang (DCT) as an example. DCT is really three people: Luca Daniel Lavorato, Mario Christian Lavorato and Heng Tang. Collectively, they have backgrounds in architecture, engineering, and biochemistry — bringing refreshing design concepts to the 3D printed jewelry table. As described on the DCT website, “cross-pollination” is an appropriate term to describe the combination of architectural modelling software with 3D printing we see in this design work. DCT’s “Morfologi Designs” are elegant pieces of jewelry, “a testament to the cherished beauty of Jewelry, the Variability of Nature and the Uniqueness of Art.” Looking at the motivation behind this up-and-coming Canadian design trio’s work, we can clearly see how 3D printing plays a central role in its inception and realization.

Mario Christian Lavorato and Heng Tang met at the University of Toronto where they both received masters’ degrees in Architectural Studies. They realized their architectural designs would work well as wearable art, and existing architecture files and designs could be used in this manner. Lavorato’s brother Luca Daniel Lavorato, who comprises the third in the trio, is an engineer who knew about 3D printing. Thus an idea was born. The three were also inspired by Canadian architect and designer Frank Gehry, who redesigned the Art Gallery of Ontario as well as many other New York buildings. Gehry also has line of jewelry for Tiffany & Co. in which he applies his architectural training in the jewelry design arena to very positive ends. DCT aspires to follow Gehry’s impressive example, with a 3D printing flair.

dct6DCT’s “Icon” line, which pays homage to specific architectural designers, will debut this week at the Toronto Fashion Week. On the DCT website, you can also learn more specifics about how the team uses 3D printing and see the variety of design shapes — honeycombs, cylinders, waves — that DCT features in its Morfologi Designs line. In the “About Us” section you can find 3D printing information under “How Our Designs Are Manufactured“:

“Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is one form of 3D Printing Technololgy we use to build your 3D Printed Jewelry from a 3D computer file. In the 3D printer, the models are printed layer by layer by a laser that draws thin lines in the powder, which melts and bonds it together in order to form a thin layer of the model. After a layer is printed, a new layer of fresh powder is spread over the surface by a roller. The printer has a print chamber that is heated to just below the melting point of the powder; the laser beam adds the extra energy to melt the powder, forming a solid model. After a print job is finished, the result is a big block of heated powder with the printed models contained inside.”

It’s somewhat unusual for designers to bring potential customers this deeply into the manufacturing process, but people continue to be fascinated by 3D printing — and DCT is right on the money for highlighting not only how the jewelry looks, but how it is made.

dct2The site’s range of earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces come in five different patterns: hive, grid, diamond, flow, and wavemaker. Jewelry can be ordered in five different metals: platinum sterling, 18K rose gold sterling, 18k gold sterling, 14k solid gold, 14k solid white gold, and 14k solid rose gold. You can tell that many designs would work well with everyday wear, but are also elegant enough to be dressed up for the evening. I think versatility is this line’s greatest strength.

From just looking at the design work, you can see the cross-pollination of abstract design concepts with figurative natural elements all wrapped up as 3D printed fine jewelry. Straddling those design lines criss-crossing architecture, the hard sciences, 3D printing, and jewelry design is working just fine for Daniel Christian Tang. DIscuss in the DCT 3D Printing forum over at 3DPB.com.

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