Purpose of the Project


Computer aided design (CAD) is now well embedded within the fashion jewellery industry and has revolutionised the way in which jewellery is manufactured. It has enabled more control over the design process, improved accuracy and the ability to create complex geometric shapes.

Parametric modelling is a key feature present in most modern CAD packages. This permits the designer to create design systems in which the geometry is driven by a series of algorithms and parameters that allow for an increased control of the geometry, facilitating the subsequent use of digital manufacturing technology.

The use of these CAD packages, together with the availability of digital manufacturing technology such as 3d-printing, is allowing for the creation of mass-customisation manufacturing systems in which the input of the user can be readily translated in bespoke products at similar costs to mass-produced goods.

We will be exploring the use of Grasshopper, a visual programming language plug-in for the CAD software Rhinoceros (Rhino), to create a generative and collaborative design. The aim is to explore ways in which jewellery designers can explore the design potential of Rhino and develop multiple instances of a design through an accessible user interface.

The concept is tested through the development and digital production of a collection of jewellery entitled metamorphosis – that integrates outputs from the generative process into rapid prototyping and combines these with traditional jewellery techniques.

The programme has been integrated with a Twitter feed that enables collaborative design through a user interface based in hash tags.

The secondary outcome of the project is a workflow for jewellery design students who wish to use Rhino but have a limited time to engage with the software. This blog supports the project by charting the development proces,

The images below show some initial experimentations – the original smooth ring is distorted and different textures added by using the sliders in grasshopper. The ring size can be pre-set using standard UK ring sizes.


paraRing_Balls2 paraRing_Cilinders paraRing_Cones2 paraRing_Smooth[1]