FabMe Jewelry is a great example of what happens when girl meets boy and both meet a 3D printer. FabMe aims its 3D printed jewellery (or jewelry if you prefer) at a feminine audience, combining Wesley’s talent for designing a breadth of artistic creations for the female form and knowledge of 3D printing with Karen’s inspiration, concepts, photography, curation and quality assurance. The FabMe portfolio shows the breadth of range of approaches that can be taken to 3D printing jewellery, and their home-based business is a model others could replicate.
Since the dawn of mankind, marked by our ability to manipulate life, places and things unto our own ends, humans have seemingly had two dominant preoccupations with the remarkably broad category of ‘things.’ Namely using things to kill each other, and wearing things. Archaic stereotypes tend to relate this to gender: Man picks up stone to throw at other man or 3D prints a gun. Woman picks up stone and considers how it goes with her shoes or 3D prints pretty things. That sort of nonsense. FabMe is a fabulous demonstrator of how this is not so and gender is superfluous to personality and talent.
Wesley and I started chatting on Facebook a few weeks ago. It is clear to me from the portfolio presented and the information on the business that this is not just a few people seeking a quick way to make money. 3D printing offers the potential of creating unique forms, intricate structures, eye-catching geometry and replicas of the teeth of endangered species in a variety of materials, from gold to remarkably sophisticated looking plastics. FabMe is well aware of this. The FabMe duo are approaching their business model by designing for 3D printable output, using Shapeways as a service bureau then putting the finishing touches to their creations where needed and presenting them with artistic flare.
The team caters for a range of looks with a range of occasional wear and using a range of stylistic approaches. There is ability here. Symmetry is not ubiquitous: weight, centring and one’s sense of gravity are toyed with. Where a geometric form may take a delicate use of thin lines and scarce use of classic materials such as silver to accentuate the use of negative space in one iteration, a similar motif is then weighted with heavy keylines and emboldened with colour in post-modern materials such as plastic in the next.
The use of service providers such as Shapeways and imaterialise proffers myriad range of opportunities to those who have accrued design skills and have natural talent. Spare time, determination and the timeless attributes that make any commercial endeavour into a profitable project are also required: from reliability to customer service. But 3D printing does offer unique benefits by speeding up inception to fruition in the design process whether using a desktop 3D printer or a 3D print service bureau.
FabMe is at the relatively early stages of development, no Milan catwalks, but that is not the aim, indeed the point is the very opposite: the democracisation of fashion design in jewellery. For FabMe that has already resulted in a TV appearance. It has never been easier to be a maker of wearable 3D printed creations. With skill and flare, the previously difficult to achieve is becoming easier. One more reason why FabMe Jewelry is a great example of what happens when girl meets boy, and both meet a 3D printer.