Try to think of some object that can’t be made with 3D printing. Our first thought was jewelry and, yeah, we were wrong. Around 2011 two MIT graduates, Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, started working on the Floraform project. They were inspired by two scientific papers which described how leaves, flowers, and other forms of life grow into their recognizable forms. It seems that nature has a relatively simple method: push all the growth to the edge and all the exotic shapes start to form.
Our MIT pair made a generative design studio called Nervous System, located in Somerville, Massachusetts. There they made an algorithm to follow the growth logic explained in those papers, and created a line of 24 products. They are 3D printed out of nylon that has been fused together from powder, layer by layer (the process is called Selective Laser Sintering). There are designs made out of sterling silver, as well. They are first 3D-printed in wax, which is followed by casting them in precious metal. The design is limited by physical constraints of the human body, which means it has to be wearable around fingers, wrists and neck.
There are three types of designs that they create. One is inspired by flowers, and it has “curling, convoluted forms and our explorations focused on the creation of symmetry or its absence.” Second is inspired by the arms of jellyfish. This design is wavy, with directional, gravity-resembling forces which makes them more elongated with “dripping cascades of ruffles.” The third is a weird combination of the previous two (imagine a flowery jellyfish).
The 24 products are divided into pendants, collars, earrings, cuffs, necklaces, rings, and brooches. They are available in white, petal pink, black and silver color.