Gabriella Perry


3D Printing the "Perfect Fit"

Virginia Tech, Center for Design Research, Spring 2019

Contour addresses the growing desire for individuality and customized products in American culture. As technology further expands our virtual reach, we are becoming ever more cognizant of our identity among the billions of other people in the world. This new mentality influences many to define themselves as individuals in our consumer-based society by obtaining genuinely unique and custom products. Contour focuses on this desire for individualized products by utilizing 3D scanning and 3D printing technology to perfectly fit a custom jewelry piece to a targeted body part. One of the advantages of 3D printing is part-to-part customization with no increase in production time, making this process perfect for today's individualized product market.

This process begins with the scanning of a body part. In this case, the upper chest and neck area was scanned to contour the collarbone. 3D scanning is now advanced enough to create a practically perfect replica of an object or body part. "Practically perfect" and not entirely perfect is due to the necessity for breathing, which causes body movement during the scanning process.

The scan generates a 3D stl/obj model that is exported to the 3D modeling software Rhino. A grid is cast onto the model for mapping and generating the jewelry piece. From there, the piece is printed out of a flexible material to ensure user comfort. Tests were printed out of rigid and flexible material, and the flexible material was more accommodating of body movement and more comfortable.

Thank you to Edward Coe for your assistance in the scanning process!