MATHEMATICS 101

The 3D Model

  • By Beth Macri
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The 3D Model

While working as a structural engineer, I studied Parametric Architecture at Stevens Institute of Technology. Inspired by innovative and prolific architects such as Santiago Calatrava, Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid,  I wanted to learn the latest in design and construction technology and hopefully pivot my career into something a little more design oriented.

In 2010 I received my masters of Mechanical Engineering from The Product Architecture and Engineering Master's Program (PAE) at Stevens. It was at PAE where I learned generative design, three dimensional modelling and advanced manufacturing technologies. I became acclimated in the different modeling programs including Catia, Digital Project, Solidworks, Grasshopper and Rhino, and learned the capabilities (and pit-falls) of 3D printing. Designing in 3D with a parametric rule-set became a quick passion of mine. I have always been a sucker for creativity within mathematical and practical guardrails. To me, designing within guardrails is designing with intent and purpose.

The initial design stage of each Hidden Message pendant stems from a basic understanding of 3D modeling techniques. The pendants were designed using a fundamental drawing command called "extrusion". Extrusion is a basic command with its roots in simple geometry. Take any shape drawn in the x-y axis and extend the shape along the perpendicular (z) direction to make a volumetric form. What was once something that could only be defined on a flat plane with a unit of measurement of an area is now something that has a completely third dimension and a different unit of measurement. A square turns into a cube when extruded, a circle becomes a cylinder. Basic geometry.

 3D Modelling Technique - Extrusion - animated GIF

This 3D drawing command, "Extrusion", has its roots in a commonly known manufacturing process called extrusion where a material is made pliable and then forcibly pushed through a die, creating a form with a consistent shape along the longitudinal axis. Like rigatoni or a hot dog. Still curious? Check out this video of some rigatoni being made with the extrusion process (the action begins at the 2:25 mark). I’ll save you from a video on how hot dogs are made (we are getting too close to BBQ season for that).

The 3D modeling command “extrusion” is a critical command in the design of each pendant in the Hidden Message Necklace, however, the pendants are definitely not manufactured with the extrusion process. This is a common misconception, but we like to pride ourselves on not making our pendants like hotdogs (still, don’t google it).

In order to produce fine jewelry that is as precise as the architectural elements in which they were inspired by, a mix of new technologies and old techniques need to be used. From 3D printing to hand finishing, the process results in a beautiful piece of jewelry made for a lifetime here in the diamond district in New York City. 

With 63 characters to choose from including letters, numbers, symbols and the zodiac. There are options to add sparkle and texture, including birthstones and varying lengths. Create your perfect necklace here.

 

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