It’s no mistake that the ring is the most common piece of jewelry people use to commemorate special occasions like weddings and graduations. It sits on your finger, reminding you, consciously or unconsciously, of a special life changing person or event whenever you wear it. What could be a better way to say “Never Forget”? But does anyone know a person who has ever admitted she wouldn’t pick the same ring two decades later that she picked when she got married? Or do you know people who upgrade diamonds as anniversary presents? People change over years, moods change day to day, and let’s face it–outfits for different occasions (work/ night out) can change more than once a day. So why shouldn’t our rings? This is the idea behind Joy Complex‘s new 3D printed Modūlus ring line, designed to create over one thousand possible variations with a delimited set of connecting bands.
I first caught on to the idea of interchangeable rings when I found, among the many random items I inherited when my mother pass away, a simple silver band with ten interchangeable, small colored marbles that pop easily in and out of the ring’s center. The idea of this design is that you can change colors to match your mood or outfit, by effectively changing the appearance of the ring itself.
3D printed jewelry artist Joy Complex‘s new line of Modūlus jewelry is a new twist on the idea of interchangeability in jewelry. Configurable for the jewelry wearer and open for the designer, it is the world’s first modular custom jewelry system and it promises to appeal to people looking for original pieces that keep being original over the years, if so desired.
The Modūlus collection is designed around what Joy Complex designer — Jeremy Burnich — describes as “connectors” which are simple bands stylistically based on a gender theme. For his Bando piece of the collection, there’s the viro (male) and virino (female) connectors that are differently styled bands that can snap together. What’s more interesting is that the bands appear rather simple, but layering, or connecting them together, can get you a stunning variety of results. As described on Shapeways webpage for the collection: “Pendants morph into new colors and textures. Rough metals nestle with soft polished metals.”
Currently 8 different 1 and 2 mm bands, with various numbers of connectors and cavities, are available in Rose Gold, Polished Silver, and 14K Gold. This adds up to being able to connect bands in different ways to create 1,700 different rings! In order to showcase the potential for this new jewelry design concept, Joy Complex has also created Triangulo, where a more complex implementation of the viro and virino design concepts allow for a ring that has 286 different variations.
As Joy Complex explains, the possibilities are endless here. Bands can be given on birthdays, slowly adding to a person’s collection over the years. Married couples have a new twist on upgrading the diamond. And for many who take special rings off to wash dishes or inevitably leave them somewhere–these simpler, modifiable, bands ensure there’s not a need to constantly be placing your ring down somewhere. You can modify it to fit the occasion.
But when all is said and done, when it comes to jewelry, some essential criteria stand out the most, and Joy Complex has superseded them in this collection. The first is originality. No one wants to commemorate a special occassion or relationship with a cookie cutter design. Modularity has achieved the anti-cookie cutter effect here. The second criteria is quality. One look at the 3D printed bands, and you can see the artistry and craftsmanship behind the design details. Finally, appearance matters too. How can you go wrong with a simple design concept with potential for layering and mixing metals to your heart’s content? (Okay, money is also an issue here, one must admit. The modularity concept also accommodates pocketbooks with bands ranging from around $50 to $130 with whole rings costing more.)
For those very last minute holiday shoppers, who would like to stop hand wringing (pun intended) over a special someone, or if you plan to treat yourself with a new jewelry piece as the New Year approaches, Joy Complex’s Modūlus jewelry collection is literally a gift that can keep on giving. Let’s hear your thoughts on these rings in the 3D Printed Modūlus Jewelry forum thread on 3DPB.com.