December 7, 2013

Flexible 3D-Printed Jewelry Hits the Market

I've been tracking the 3D printing industry for awhile now. Besides 3D printing's benefits in manufacturing and product design in terms of resource saving and optimizing, scaling production while reducing time, and the ability to generate more complex parts, I love how it can be applied to fashion, interior design, and jewelry. I really enjoy browsing 3D printing site Shapeways for design ideas (they even have meme designs - yay for a 9Gag/Reddit/Cracked person like me!).

I'm also a big fan of geometric design, if you haven't caught it on from the last "5 Things Friday" post on 10 stylish geometric decorations, and 3D printing allows designers to do just that.

Anyway, design studio Nervous System, which specializes in generating designs combining art, science, and technology, has released a new range of jewelry called Kinematics

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Kinematics is the branch of classical mechanics describing the motion of points, bodies (objects) and systems of bodies (groups of objects) without considering of the causes of motion - in short, the "geometry of motion". You probably are familiar with concepts like "velocity", "accelerations", "trajectories", and "planes"... well, that's what goes into kinematics. 

Bearing that in mind, Nervous System's Kinematics jewelry is all about complex, foldable jewelry composed of modular shapes/assemblages that are interlocked via tiny joints. Each module is rigid, but the interlocking structure/lattice is designed in such a manner that the entire piece can fold, behaving like a continuous fabric. There are four styles: smooth, angular, polygonal and tetrahedral.

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From left: smooth, tetra, and polygonal modules
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I love this asymmetric one!
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And here is how it unfolds!

What makes this "foldability" exciting is that it allows you to print objects that are larger in size than a 3D printer in a compressed form which is immediately usable after printing - no painstaking assembly of parts required, unlike this stunning 3D-printed dress by Shapeways in March 2013 modeled by Dita Von Teese, which required assembly in over 3,000 places. 

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If you're feeling adventurous, Nervous System has released two apps: (1) Kinematics, through which you can design your own jewelry and then submit to them for ordering, and (2) Kinematics @ Home to design and download in STL format if you have a 3D printer of your own.  

Besides the Kinematics range, Nervous System has other scientifically-themed ranges such as dendrite and hyphae; these ranges extend beyond jewelry to lighting, puzzles, and housewares.

I'll leave you with this video of how the system works. Back to studying! 



Images:

December 4, 2013

Just A Quick Update: I'm Still Kicking!

Dear readers and travelers,

Apologies for not keeping up with the posting! These 2-3 weeks have been an insane, breakneck-speed melange of activities. Some activities have turned out to be rewarding, others not yet (at least that's what I hope!). A quick summary of what I've been up to:

A group of us got together to organize a fund raiser for the Philippine victims of Typhoon Haiyan, called "Share Your Love". Activities included charity sales (again thank you to our lovely private donors and corporate sponsors Bonjour Cosmetics, Mirror Restaurant, Pret A Manger, and Sift Desserts!), T-shirt sales, video screening, and a candlelight vigil to commemorate the victims. Proceeds were 100% channeled to UNICEF, which already has teams on the ground providing safety and hygiene kits among other necessities. Happily, the entire HKUST community came together... we raised almost HKD 75,000 in merely 2 days, including a HKD 23,000 match by two private donors. 

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Baked goods on sale!... I had so many cookies and cupcakes. GYM TAIM!

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The people of the Philippines still need constant help to aid with rebuilding, so if you want to contribute, please click here for a list of ways you can help.

Otherwise, I've been occupied with wrapping up final projects, sleepless nights and the typical HKUST busy-ness. Have been feeling unusually nauseous especially while travelling on bus and the MTR too, besides having to attend job interviews! I really had to draw into my energy reserves to appear cheerful, enthusiastic, and positive, while internally I felt like this:
This is my totem animal by the way. Apparently its expressions match mine :D
All the same, I'm thankful that I've been getting more and more interview calls! And when I'm feeling bad, I just keep these verses in mind: 

"11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
- Philippians 4:13

Incidentally, this idea gives me pause: we perhaps often misquote v. 13 out of context. I don't doubt that God wants us to do well in our chosen field, our relationships, etc, but it doesn't mean you're going to get every A, ace every interview just because you believe... If we look at v.11 and 12, we can see that Paul is saying that he is content regardless of circumstances, because of Christ.

Last off, we printed out our Science elective poster! Signed, sealed, delivered undergrad, with only finals to go!

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A radical shift from the previous design I posted because the professor wanted us to make a stand as to whether we should proceed with human cloning. Personally, I'm all for therapeutic cloning (which enables stem cell research) but not so much reproductive cloning (which will produce mini-Me's). 

Besides the awful idea that there would be another me running around - despite being younger and therefore not exactly the same person (technically at this stage, human cloning would not produce a photocopy of you at the age you are at cloning... the clone has to be birthed), I don't really see much purpose in human cloning, other than an expression of our hubris. Although, one may argue that not wanting to be cloned is another form of hubris e.g. considering oneself unique.

Then again, there's this:


Who needs cloning when you have a doppelganger right in Hong Kong?