Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Architect Jenny Wu Builds Avante Garde Jewelry Line with Stratasys 3D Printing

ST Medical Devices

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Jenny WuJenny Wu is an accomplished, Harvard-educated architect, author, and teacher. Not content as just a triple threat, she’s now also pushing technological and creative boundaries as an ultra-modern jewelry designer. Working with Stratasys 3D printing, Wu has been creating necklaces and rings for her LACE collection, with the Tangens necklace as her primary, show stopping design.

“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 explains.

Available this fall, the LACE collection is a line of 3D printed wearable designs created by Wu, who is best known as a partner in the Los Angeles based architecture office, Oyler Wu Collaborative. A logical, artistic extension of her avant-garde architectural work, her jewelry consists of intricately detailed designs manufactured with the latest in 3-D printing technology and material.  Wu uses complex, interlocking elements to create a bold statement around the body, whether it is the neck or the finger.

The jewelry industry is already contributing many new innovations via the 3D printing sector, from personalized engagement rings and monogrammed cufflinks, to charms, watches, and even a regal crown or two. Being able to push further in the process than just creating a prototype is changing the way these particular artists work, and saves immeasurable amounts of time in the design process, from creating something, to getting it on to the showroom floor or website.

Model showcases Tangens necklace

Model showcases Tangens necklace

“I enjoy the possibilities that FDM offers, as it enables me to directly manufacture jewelry pieces as opposed to just prototype,” says Wu. “After some experimentation, I found that the ABS-M30 in particular was the best 3D printing material for Tangens.”

The Tangens necklace is created with the Stratasys Fortus 400mc Production System, using the benefits of tight tolerances and fine details produced by Stratasys FDM technology. It will be offered for sale in black, white, and translucent.

Wu is also working with Solidscape®, a Stratasys subsidiary, in producing the Papilio ring, the first item being commercially sold from the LACE collection. The Papilio silver ring is also the first ring designed by Wu for LACE. It is designed to evoke the fluttering movement of butterfly wings. The ring is made of sterling silver and is 3D printed by Stratasys to produce the wax model. The wax model is then cast and hand polished to achieve its lustrous appearance. A custom wood jewelry box has been CNC milled to create a soft topography on the interior of the box and to achieve the perfect fit with the ring. The ring will be printed to the size of the buyer.

Silver Papilio ring in custom jewelry box

Silver Papilio ring in custom jewelry box

Jenny Wu is the founder and design director of LACE, and also a partner at the Los Angeles based architecture and design office, Oyler Wu Collaborative, which she started in 2004 with Dwayne Oyler. The office has been published globally and is recognized for its experimentation in design and fabrication. Their work straddles between two scales—small scale, experimental installations, and large scale iconic building projects in Asia and the US.  The office has won prestigious design awards. Jenny is also currently a member of the design faculty at Sci-Arc (Southern California Institue of Architecture). See more about her jewelry designs at jennywulace.com.

Would you consider wearing one of these intricate pieces?  Let’s hear your thoughts on Wu’s 3D designs, in the 3D printed Jewelry forum thread on 3DPB.com

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