Designer Jenny Wu is our favorite crossover artist, and she’s become a solid quadruple threat in a very short amount of time, adding notable jewelry designer to her growing list of titles that already includes Harvard trained architect and partner at Oyler Wu Collaborative, author of Primitives, and teacher of first-year design at the Southern California Institute of Architecture.
Launching a new lineup for her LACE collection on May 15, Wu shows that her team has mastered the art of 3D printing with steel powder. Delving into true industrialism, the designer is guiding us through not only her own evolution as an artist and a jeweler but also that of 3D printing itself. As the technology moves through the industrial sectors as a full-blown revolution, we are able to see it becoming mainstream in the world of designers who are brave enough to take on 3D printing with metal, offering not only products that are strong and unique, but versatile and affordable.
The LACE collection will be presenting pieces in three new 3D printed materials:
- Grey steel
- Stainless steel
- Rose gold
Wu’s jewelry is meant for the serious collector of unique pieces, offering ‘organic movement’ in clearly avant-garde design which pushes the boundaries geometrically, fluidly—and beautifully so.
“The new steel collection is especially exciting for us since it is the first time our collection will be 3D printed directly using fused steel through a binder based 3D printing technology,” said Wu. “This technology was previously used mostly for industrial applications but is now available for high resolution 3D printing applications such as jewelry.”
The rose gold material is not only new for the collection but is created with a 3D wax printer to create a mold which is then finished with the metal plating and desired color and effect.
While 3D printing with steel powder is the most affordable form of 3D metal printing, the technology in general is being used in many different sectors for producing a multitude of high quality components. Companies like Lamborghini routinely use 3D printed parts, as well as relying heavily on 3D design for prototyping. Aerospace producers like Boeing now sport such 3D printed parts as door handles, seats, and more. Even spacecraft like the Dragon, made by SpaceX, has eight Super Draco engines made from 3D printed metal components. This is serious business. Injecting such strong materials into the world of jewelry makes the pieces that much more unique and special in value.
While suitable for making parts that are vital to our world, 3D printing with metal is also the logical and suitable choice for jewelry in many ways—and anyone who has ever had a piece of soft gold or other metal jewelry that was slightly soft or malleable understands why something you invest in as an accessory needs to be strong enough to withstand the test of time, and often will be something handed down to another generation. With the unique qualities of Wu’s collection, we could definitely see these pieces being very carefully preserved and passed from mother to daughter.
The new launch for LACE begins on May 15th, allowing pre-orders for delivery beginning on June 1st. Featuring progressive 3D printed wearable designs in the form of rings, earrings, and necklaces, the entire collection can be seen in the LACE shop.
Have you been following Jenny Wu and her LACE collection? What 3D printed jewelry pieces do you find to be the most striking? Discuss with us in the 3D Printed Steel for LACE Collection forum thread over at 3DPB.com.