You know, when you’re strutting down the street, shooting that end-of-summer vibe into the eyes of the passersby, 99.2 percent of that make-tastic mojo is emanating from the 3D-printed adornment around your neck. Hot Pop Factory makes it, and given that you need a ring and some other 3D printed jewelry to complete the look, you’ll appreciate what they have to say about creating these fabulous pieces and how 3D printing is shaking the foundation of design.

Generation Design-to-Print

We’ve seen a lot of 3D printed jewelry, even some using generative 3D modeling to explore various wearable patterns. Hot Pop Factory is blending that workflow with inspiration taken from both the environment and the characteristic build produced by a 3D printer’s striated layering to create a line of exceptional-looking jewelry. I would love to print a mothers ring for my lovely mother.

Hot Pop Factory is a collaboration between Matt Compeau and Biying Miao, graduates of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture. They’re based in Toronto, Canada, where the entire design and production process happens right out of their tiny one-bedroom apartment. Over the past year, they’ve been experimenting with a Makerbot Replicator and have just launched their first collection of 3D printed jewelry in July. They’re designing their collection using Grasshopper, a generative modeling plugin for Rhino. The project grew from an initial model of a reef-like form into what you see here, testing out each design with a print as fast as they could model it.

For Bi-Ying and Matt, it was all about taking advantage of the unique quirks of the 3D printing process. “Objects produced on 3D printers like our Makerbot, have a very distinctive look.” Matt explains, “As the objects are produced layer by layer, the fabrication process becomes visually evident in the final product. We decided to use this to our advantage and base our designs around it. We looked to other areas where this process of accretion occurs, like in geological formations as inspiration for our work. We talk a little more about this process on our blog.”

“The best part about 3D printing is that it completely changes the way you design. Instead of making sketches and models and guessing how they’ll turn out, you can create full-scale, wearable prototypes at every stage of the design process. It makes things very interactive and accessible right from the start. If you are interested in learning more about designing for 3D printing, you might want to check out an article I recently wrote for the Makerbot blog.”

Thanks to Matt and Biying for telling us more about their project. If you haven’t bought (or made) a piece of 3D printed jewelry, make one of theirs your first. You can follow their blog to explore more about what the duo are doing or follow them via twitter for the latest on their adventure.

Images: Hot Pop Factory by May Wu.