Jewellery Focus recently wrote an interesting editorial on how designer jewellery brands are tapping into the zeitgeist by finding weird and wonderful ways to manufacture their jewellery. While it’s hard to say anything that hasn’t already been said about the classic strategy of differentiating a brand by using exotic materials or manufacturing process, Mr. Northcote is absolutely right in pointing out the growing number of designer jewellery brands who are happily stepping into what was once the preserve of the contemporary art jeweller– innovative choices of material and method. CAD/CAM of course is one of these methods, but these innovators borrow techniques from many crafts and industries such as wood working, ceramics, stone cutting, and industrial metal tooling.
To add to the short list of makers included in the article (such as Bailey of Sheffield and Vanacci), here are a few of a growing list of premium and luxury brands which create jewellery using both innovative materials and innovative manufacturing processes:
As TCT Magazine recently reported, recent Birmingham School of Jewellery graduate Rebecca Wilkes has been experimenting with full colour nylon SLS printing for producing 3D printed jewellery. With the help of the nylon 3D printers at Digits2Widgets, she has been garnering attention at trade shows for her collection of wearable objects with interchangeable components.
I have to say, it’s nice to see a new generation of students taking chances in seeing how far they can push 3D printed materials as an end product. While the materials aren’t perfect, this work proves that if you can find the right product, 3D printing itself is a viable manufacturing medium for products.
According to a recent article from 3D Printing Industry, Lockheed Martin has just filed a patent for a synthetic diamond 3D printer. And predictably, social media’s imagination has run wild…
One precious moo… Imagine creating anything you want as a 3D printed synthetic diamond.
In all seriousness, though, this has some potentially very interesting applications for both industry as well as jewellery design.
See the full article here:
It seems we have recently started seeing a big momentum change in the fields of wearable tech and smart clothing. Recent innovations in embedded RFID technology (as I discussed back in 2012), cost-efficient 3D printing for accessories (as I’ve also been following here), and new materials research have finally come together to create a proper trend in wearable technology innovation.
The InnovateUK Blog has written a good overview of the many different directions of wearable technology research happening now.
But there is so much more going on right now in many fields of accessory design and experimental fashion. While some of the immediate applications are clearly more practical than others, all of them show the commercial possibilities we’re only just barely starting to explore within these technologies.
This fantastic lecture comes courtesy of a former student and author of the jewelleryweekly.com blog. (Thank you, Anissa!)
President and CEO of 3D Systems Avi Reichental has presented quite an inspiring TED talk entitled “What’s Next in 3D Printing”. After all, who better to comment on what’s coming next in the pipeline of 3D printing technology than the CEO of the company throwing the most money at it?
Interestingly, he gives a shout-out to a few companies we’ve mentioned here, such as Bespoke Innovations.
Sometimes you can take very old processes and combine them together to find a new innovation in jewellery making.
For my latest entry in Something Beautiful in Jewellery, I present Shiruba Tree Jewellery. Their work combines classical wood turning techniques as applied to small woodwork with silver hand jewellery manufacturing. The result is a series of classical and elegant men’s and women’s band rings, along with a few more interesting experimental designs. Their process does not involve any CAD at all, but their innovative mix of techniques and the understated results are excellent.
See for yourself:
The World Economic Forum has just published an interesting list of their predictions for the top 10 most prominent emergent technologies for this year.
Of course, 3D printing (AKA additive manufacturing) is on there, but why is quite interesting: