If you want to gift yourself something unique, a 3D printed jewelry might inspire you. In today’s Design Inspiration Friday, Tom and Tracy Hazzard shine a light on Jenny Wu’s LACE jewelry line. Jenny is an architect, and her avant-garde structural design showcases her skills taking jewelry making to a whole new level. Tom and Tracy critique her products, noting them to be reasonably priced, memorable, and promising. With Jenny’s pieces of jewelry, stories are incorporated in every design they create through 3D printing.
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How 3D Print Jewelry is Taking Shape
It is once again another Design Inspiration Friday, what an inspiration from 3D print jewelry that we are going to talk about today! We are going to talk about Jenny Woo, and her line called LACE. It is avant garde structural design jewelry. She is a practicing architect in LA, and she has been sketching these amazing forms that have turned into 3D print jewelry shapes. What I found really great about it, are the designs as well as the fact that she talks about this as she is now free to be able to create forms that were not able to be done easily in normal jewelry processing.
3D print jewelry is where I think that I am so inspired by 3D printing, is the idea that we are able to create forms, shapes, and original structures that we have never been able to do before because our equipment was holding us back – and it’s a perfect fit in terms of 3D print jewelry. Our processing was also holding us back. The equipment and the reality of subtractive manufacturing and how you are able to manipulate materials is very different now. It is very exciting when you think about how she is working. She truly understand the benefits of 3D printing, as well as the advantages and how things are done. Even though it’s clear when you look at some videos of her practice that she has people to do the work for her, but she is sketching them out herself. She is creating the designs, the artistic direction, and having others to create that CAD design, which is not cheap to do. It is very complex and expensive, but these people know what to do with the CAD. There are so many advantages to take advantage of in the process of interlinked shapes and different forms, and also things that are able to move in and out of each other. The intricacy that she is getting in her 3D printed jewelry pieces are beautiful. You wouldn’t be able to do these specific forms in traditional processing, and they would cost so much more if you try to simulate this on traditional jewelry making and processing.
Reasonable Pricing of 3D Print Jewelry
We went on her shop and looked at what the costs of some of these things are. These are unique designs and they are not everywhere. You are talking about really high designed quality products that are being made into a series. People can buy the same thing but to have this kind of original and unique design that you can buy, is great. Some of these products are as low as $99 for a five-piece jewelry, up to $400 or $500, and some are even close to $1000, but those are much bigger pieces. Knowing what we know about the cost of 3D printing at service bureaus that print metal to make these kinds of products, that is already a very reasonable pricing for a fashion element like that.
It is also a great example because you can get to choose your own material or colors. You have a lot of choices. Obviously, they are limited to the color of materials that are available in the specific finish and type selected, but you have more options compared to how many times you go into the store, where you can’t get the rose gold version, and you prefer the rose gold because that is trending right now. You can only get the sterling silver version, or you can get all of the different ones, and she doesn’t need to have an inventory on that. That is the great part about it. It’s so smart!
When you brought me my dream catcher necklace for our anniversary this year, which I totally love, I also wanted to get a set of earrings to go with it. They just didn’t have it. It didn’t exist. How much easier is it if you are going to have the earrings available online, somewhere? Certainly Jenny Woo being the designer that she is designing earrings to compliment the necklaces or the rings that she is designing, she is making a collection of jewelry. Maybe it’s not all for you or me to want every piece, but certainly it will be. If you would have a big event that you are going to go to, and you are able to have a ring that matches your necklace or earrings that go together, to be able to do that is just wonderful! It really is a big complaint that what mass market societies of mass market distribution today are.
Most people would buy jewelry at a traditional jewelry shop at a mall, which is a chain. They may have a particular necklace, but it is not worth it to them, to produce the earrings because it will sell less. Or maybe it is the other way around. They carry earrings, but they are not going to produce the necklace. One of them sells more than the other. It’s not worth it to them to stock one on the other in all their stores, because they are going to sell a smaller percentage to the others. But here, there is no inventory, and you make as many as you sell. You can inventory something, and you know you’re going to sell faster. You want to deliver them faster. If you give me the necklace and it will take a couple of weeks to get the necklace, I would be happy with that. That would still be a great gift. That is where you can see that there is a benefit from a product offering standpoint. This is so inspirational in terms of the design. I also want to mention that there is a video that talks about the design process. That is the part where I would like to see for this Design Inspiration Friday.
There is also a beautiful mill box that comes with any of their items that are over $500, so if you buy an item over $500, you get a beautiful mill box with it. There is also a felt pouch, which is for the lower cost products. Both of them are beautifully designed. These pieces have very organic forms. This is the packaging of these things if it’s over $500. They show the process in the video. They take the CNC Mill and carve out the negative shape of the item that is to be packaged in a solid block of wood. It is roughly 3 inches cube in size. It is a perfect packaging to completely protect the design. It is a beautiful form, and an object in of itself. Here, she is taking the design not only the jewelry, but she has translated the integrity of that design, and the message of quality all the way through the packaging. They are also making those on demand, because they don’t have to stock those which are why they make as many as they need. They may have already made the box and they carve the design in for whichever earring or necklace is going in that.
Lead Time for 3D Print Jewelry
Another interesting thing that they have in here is, as we are talking about lead time, they say that they are going to make it in three weeks from production if it’s not in stock. They are very clear about it. It’s like you’re getting something special and you need to wait for it. That is very impressive, and I think that this is a great example of the future of the designing economy. I also think that there is a story behind it. If I had to get something and ask three weeks ahead of it, but when you gave it to me that way, and that’s the story of how it was made to order for me, this shows that you are getting something made to order for you. Some of it is as low as $90. That is amazing! That is not usually accessible unless if it’s thousands of dollars, because all high end things are delivered like that. That is a great accessible gift with a beautiful story that makes someone really special.
Buying Stories over Products
It has been the trend in recent years and in this modern time that people buy more from a company that has a story about them. People are sometimes buying the story more than the product. It is a good marketing lesson, and a good thing to model. People buy stories, if not more than they buy products. In this case, she has told the story very well. She is on a fantastic job of marketing herself and she should know all those things. She had done a really great job. This is a great way to model your design business, and give value to what you are putting in place to what you are delivering, as well as not devaluing and selling it under priced and by putting it on a site, because that is not going to give that specialness that it requires. This is away to build your own site, give it special qualities. It doesn’t matter where you are actually having it made; all it matters is how you are delivering it and how you design it.
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