Matt Compeau and Bi-Ying Miao are the embodiment of a number of trends we have been discussing in TreeHugger; the graduate architects have been "exploring the potential of 3D printing to seriously disrupt the way people consume manufactured goods"- from their living room in Toronto.
We immersed ourselves in this new technology and have been exploring ways to make it accessible to a wider audience. Over the past year we have experimented with a Makerbot Replicator and have launched our first collection of 3D printed jewelry last month. We've leveraged our experience in architecture to create a unique take on jewelry that celebrates the personal manufacturing movement and brings a male-dominated field to smart, young and stylish women.
I visited them to get a sense of what we have often called the future of work. Their first product is a collection of jewelry they call Stratigraphia.
Stratigraphia, uses emerging technologies to create intimate adornments for the body. Consisting of three bold and elegant pieces, the series celebrates the stratified texture of 3D printed objects. The accretion of barely visible layers, inherent to the additive manufacturing process, means every piece acquires a unique 'fingerprint' distinguishing it from others like it.
Designing with pencil and paper is so passe´; you do it in Rhino and Grasshopper.
However, design development and prototyping is so much easier when you can just print it out.
We were able to test out each design just as fast as we were modelling them, allowing us to make tweaks on the fly! As a result, we’ve had a seamless flow of productivity… and a huge pile of plastic in the living room! We are keeping track of progress by documenting each major design shift and important print setting adjustments.
The Makerbot is not huge, and its output is limited to materials like ABS or PLA plastic. We are still at the early stages of this manufacturing revolution. But all of the elements are here: Talented designers imagining, designing, producing and marketing products from their dining room table. It's jewelry now; in a few years it might be buildings. This revolution is just getting started. See the line at the HotPop Factory