LACE by Jenny Wu has collaborated with ExOne to produce a fully 3D printed, interlocking designer steel necklace. Named Catena, this architecturally inspired, geometrically complex necklace previously only available in nylon is now 3D printed in steel through ExOne’s Binder Jetting Technology, an additive manufacturing process in which a liquid binding agent is selectively deposited to join powder particles.
“For the past 3 years, my necklaces have been the most iconic, popular pieces in my collection. Unlike most 3D printed necklaces out there, our pieces are fully 3D printed without any additional analog assembly nor non-3D printed hardware to hold these incredible statement pieces around the neck. This type of necklace was a technical and financial challenge to 3D print entirely in metal until now. While we love the wearability of our nylon necklaces, our goal was always to 3D print our necklaces in metal, from the hinge down to the latch,” Jenny Wu, the director of LACE, explained. “After many years of testing and prototyping with various different technologies, we were finally able to produce the Catena necklace with ExOne and their 3D printing process.”
This past month, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) officially acquired the Catena Steel Necklace for their permanent Collection. The Catena Necklace not only pushes the limits of metal 3D printing but is also an extraordinary artistic statement.
“Jenny translates the complex line-based geometries of Oyler Wu’s architectural projects into jewelry and brings a high level of technical skill to the crowded 3D-printing field, “ Bobbye Tigerman, the Marliyn B. and Calvin B. Gross Curator at LACMA, explains. “The Catena necklace is her most sophisticated design to date, both conceptually and technically. The complex design of interlocking pieces is entirely articulated, a feature made by possible by the 3D printing process, without requiring extensive manual labor and time investments.”
Since its launch in 2014, LACE began as a cult favorite in the design world and has quickly been embraced by the fashion and tech communities as well as celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba, Carrie Underwood, Christina Aguilera, just to name a few. The collection has been widely known for its design and innovative production technique. The LACE by Jenny Wu collection reflects Wu’s architectural aesthetic, marrying line-based geometry with intricate organic movement to create avant-garde designs with high level digital refinement.