The Beauty of 3D Printing: Jewelry and Accessories

Broadview recently connected with a new company that is 3D printing jewelry. When most people think of 3D printing they think of toys or prototypes. Here at Broadview, we like to celebrate the different applications of 3D printing being used.

You can imagine our delight when we came across a company that is designing, building and selling custom 3D printed jewelry. Matt Roesle, co-owner of Hypatia Studio, said he first got into 3D printing to create jewelry for his then fiancé. “I wanted to make a special wedding band for my wife. 3D printing is a technology that enables anyone to create almost any object—if you can make a computer model of it first,” Roesle said.

3D printing jewelry: Men's Wedding Band
3D printing jewelry: Hair accessories and earrings

Photo Credit: Meredith Harris | Makeup and Hair Artist: Jade Darrough | Model: Laura Thomas

Fairly straight-forward for someone who knows CAD, but the available computer modeling software wasn't cutting it. Matt had trouble rendering the shapes he wanted. “I called on my engineering background to make a mathematical description of the braid, and then wrote a computer program to generate the model of the ring. The result turned out better than I had hoped. I soon found that I could make other designs by applying geometric transformations and changing the braid parameters,” Roesle explained.

Combining Art and Engineering

Roesle, along with his partner, Mahi Palanisami, combined their mechanical engineering background with their love for art to launch Hypatia Studio in Denver, CO. Hypatia Studio offers jewelry and art pieces that feature unique components built using 3D printing. Most designs are derived from mathematical functions or geometry and are inspired by patterns in nature. “We blend engineering and art. We use our math skills to dissect patterns or we use them to interpret equations that interpret the world around us.” Palanisami said.

Earrings made by 3D printing technology

Earrings made by 3D printing technology

3D printing with bronze to create earrings

3D printing with bronze to create earrings

Matt and Mahi begin their process by finding an equation for a fractal–a never-ending pattern. Their custom software renders the equations into three-dimensional shapes. Next, they create physical prototypes using a homemade 3D printer. Once they have a design that works, they send out their files to be manufactured using 3D printing. The companies they work with use a 3D printing process called laser sintering to print with metal and nylon.

“Part of the challenge is to find shapes and designs that are visually compelling and also convey some essence of the original equation or concept,” Matt said. “Because each design is a faithful representation of the underlying math, we can do this only by adjusting the inputs to the equations and our software.”

Check out Hypatia Studio to learn more about this awesome company. Their passion for engineering, mathematics and the beauty of nature is sure to inspire you. When that brilliant idea strikes, keep Broadview in mind as a resource. Our experienced mechanical and manufacturing engineers, marketing team and model makers would be happy to help turn your idea into a successful business.