The design of this work ‘surrounds’ and connects crafted silver rings with Rapid Prototyped links to form a jewelery necklace. The intriguing moment is when the finished piece is lifted off the machine and is at once a fully articulated and finished object.
Since 1992 my work combined new technologies – namely computer based modeling and Rapid Prototyping – together with traditional Silversmithing techniques. Recently I have begun to reverse this digital based making process by putting the hand made, the Silversmithing, first and then ‘reverse engineer’ elements, like the silver rings of the ‘RP chain’.
After finishing the 17 sliver rings their dimensions are captured/measured. In this case with a simple calliper for complex or free-from objects a 3d laser scanner could be used. Based on their dimensions these handmade rings are then modelled using computer aided design (CAD) – I use formz as a 3D computer modeling program – to accommodate tolerances and add links to form a closed chain. These links will then be build on a Rapid Prototyping machine. Rapid Prototyping is a process, which ‘grows’ layers of ABS plastic, and can build just about any object. I use a Stratasys Fdm system giving me a high level of control over the build process, like in this case I used a stop-layer.
After the links have been partially built and the voids for the silver rings are formed the build process is stopped to insert the sliver rings. By continuing the Rapid Prototyping process the sliver rings grow together with the links to form a larger total, a necklace – the RP-chain. An intriguing moment is when the finished piece is lifted off the machine and is at once a fully articulated and finished object. Both Silversmithing and Rapid Prototyping are applied true to their unique media with the aim to create contemporary works of craft.