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Artist Case Study

Ian Henderson, website:

Ian is a multi-talented artist specializing in jewelry with flowing organic forms, in a kind of sinister biomimetic steampunk style as I see it. I'm now a fan of his work since earlier this year I helped Ian make some 3d printed versions of his intricate earrings. These pieces are normally made with a painstaking manual-cutting process in Ian's workshop, but for an exploratory project 3D Printsmith scanned some earrings at high resolution, optimized the STL mesh for printing and 3d printed them using the Objet polyjet process.

The progression and results are shown here, and Ian was impressed by the fidelity and resilience of the finished parts. These are normally fabricated completely by hand from layer upon layer of rubber over an aluminum inner mandrel. While hand craft will likely always be his initial creation method, employing scanning and 3d printing technology removed the labor of reproduction, and Ian now has a new "tool" with which to quickly develop and reproduce new designs, or copy them for his design archives. Color dyes, paints or metal plated finishes can be applied to the printed parts if desired, and pieces may be mirrored, or scaled up or down from original size.