alexistellefsen

Spring 2013

Ring Design: The Trials and Tribulations

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this here on my research blog before but I am currently taking a metal’s class called Processes & Experimental Techniques II with Arthur Hash. Although it’s a metals class, the focus is on CAD, in particular Rhino. Our introductory project was to design a box for a specific piece of jewelry using 2D laser cutting and vinyl cutting processes [I will post photos of the boxes a later date] but our most current project has been to use Rhino’s 3D attributes to design a ring. The parameters for the project were very open, encouraging us to address questions such as: What is the definition of a ring? What can a ring do? How should it be worn?

Although I have always been a ring enthusiast/hoarder, I have only fabricated a ring once in my life during the Fall 2013 semester when I was taking Basic Metal. The ring I created [pictured below] is made from copper wire and copper sheet. Although I was very proud of my ring when I made it, it could definitely use some refinement and better craftsmanship so I figured this time around I could redeem myself.

wovenring2

wovenring1

For my current project I knew that I wanted to design a ring that would be more inviting to wear on a regular basis. I was heavily inspired by geometric planes reminiscent of my thesis tile designs. Since we were instructed to use Shapeways, an online 3D printing service, to have our rings professionally printed in metal [which can get pretty pricey if you have your eyes set on sterling silver] I knew that I wanted to make something AWESOME. But unfortunately, I don’t always work well under pressure. I struggled and went through a lot of different designs. I created about 10 different ring files  and reworked my original ring design countless times. I realized that way I was working did not allow me to join the facets of my ring properly and by the time I went class last Thursday I was ready to put my fist through the monitor and flush my flashdrive down the toilet. I was falling behind and losing patience with myself. Did I mention that I rarely ask for help?

These are some screen shots of the different incomplete designs I was trying to work through.

Attempt #1: I struggled with the attachment of the bands to the top of the ring. I was mostly concerned with preventing it from looking like a plain band with a geometric shaped plopped on the top. I tried creating a double band with tapered edges that blended into the gemstone shape. I struggled with how to make the ring hollow.

attempt2_1

attempt1_3

attempt1_2

attempt1_4

Attempt #2: I was experimenting with different ring bands, attaching the geometric shape onto a trio of bands. Again, I struggled with how to make the ring solid with hollow space on the interior.

attempt2_2

attempt2_3

attempt2_4

Attempt #3: I completely switched gears from the original geometric shape and attempted to array new geometric forms around the band and to create a radial design. But again, I was struggling with making my ring a closed, solid form.

attempt3_1

attempt3_2

attempt3_3

attempt3_4

This weekend I decided to switch gears. I  thought about the styles of rings I like wearing myself and started fresh. Rather than trying to construct a ring out of 50 different triangle surfaces I tried to limit myself and go with something much simpler and was pretty pleased with my results.

First I created two different designs based on the idea of stackable, interchangeable rings:

Design #1

stack1_6

stack1_4

stack1_2

Design #2

stack2_3

stack2_1

stack2_4

I also created a pair of stackable hexagon rings which were my favorite design. Unfortunately I realized that the walls of the hexagons were way too thin to print. Working on a laptop screen can be deceiving when you’re designing a ring thats only 17mm in width.

hexring3

hexring5

hexring7

Upon realizing that my design did not fit with the parameters of Shapeways printing needs I redesigned the hexagons to be thicker in height and wall-width. This is the final design.

finalring2

finalring1

finalring6

I submitted the file to Shapeways to be printed in basic white plastic so that I can be sure of the fit of the ring. Unfortunately they will not arrive to me until the first week of April but I would rather be safe than sorry. Once I’m sure that they are the proper size I will have two rings printed, in either sterling silver or stainless steel.

Screen Shot 2013-03-23 at 11.52.40 AM

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This entry was posted on March 23, 2013 by and tagged , , , .
Daniel SanGiacomo

aka Daniel Aktas

Kelsey Anne

Keep your Dreams alive. To acheive anything you must understand that it requires faith and belief in yourself. Remember, all things are possible for those who dont stop believing.

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