>> We've opened up a space for Digital Fucina's founder, Fabrizio de Paolis, a professional 3D modeler and Grasshopper specialist. In the following months he'll be posting several ideas on what Mass Customization means to him and his project Digital Fucina.<<
What do some American sport champions, DC's superhero The Green Lantern and Tolkien's Lord Sauron have all in common? I am not referring to great athletic prowess, ability to save the world or dreaming about dominating Middle Earth. They all wear an object that can often give us a lot of information about the wearer. I'm referring of course to a ring.
The origin of rings dates back to the Bronze Age. Already during the Cretan-Mycenaean civilization they became a precious objects and were crafted with accuracy.
The era of the Renaissance was characterized by strong demand for jewelry between the upper middle class and at the courts. With the introduction of the plating, which took place around 1800, jewels began to be used also by the middle bourgeoisie.
From that moment on, the goldsmith's art was enriched with techniques and materials able to satisfy the need of every social class proposing not only luxury items but also jewels suitable for a wider and less elitist public.
The art of jewelry has undergone a wide evolution, passing from the glitz to minimalism, from the preciousness of the materials to the design research and from exclusivity to large-scale customization.
How can mass customization therefore meet us in this sense?
Imagine commissioning a customized jewel to a goldsmith craftsman. A unique object designed solely for the person who will wear it.
Obviously we can do it, but at what price? Maybe the cheapest solutions would be to fall back to unimaginative materials or on custom jewelry. Maybe...
Wanting to find a valid compromise, wouldn't it be nice to have a unique and refined object, perhaps signed by a prestigious Designer at a reasonable price? I say yes.
Contrary to what many of us probably thought of at school, mathematics is our friend and is very useful in aspects where we could have never imagined. Thus, as in previous columns, a Product Configurator provides us with a solution. How? By integrating Parametric 3D Modeling and Digital Manufacturing.
Twist is a collection of jewelry. A family of objects characterized by curved surfaces and parametric patterns that hardly (perhaps impossibly) could be made in a traditional way. Fortunately for us, we are not traditionalists.
Each of the models can be:
- Personalized in total autonomy according to one's taste.
- Dimensioned according to one's measurements.
- Made with affordable materials, or moulded in "castable" materials and then proceed to do replicas in precious metals, thus eliminating the need of a wax craftsman.
In this post we analyse the ring piece of this collection:
- The triangular pattern generates pyramids facing the inside of the surface that is automatically re-shapes with each modification.
- The shape can be customized as desired, obtaining its uniqueness but remaining faithful to the line.
- The diameter can be calibrated according to the user's finger.
Making jewelry in this way can allow anyone to express themselves and create a truly unique product at a very affordable price.
I'll end this month's post with a quote from Argentinian psychologist and writer Jorge Bucay:
"You are just like this ring: a unique and valuable jewel. The only person who can understand your true value is an expert. Why do you go around expecting that anyone you meet on the street knows your true value?"