I still find hundreds (thousands?) of LEGO®’s every time I go through my childhood toys. I’ve always loved them, but I can’t say that I saw them as beautiful — until now. Design duo Thomas and Allie of Hint Lab have designed a line of playful, elegant jewelry that uses LEGO®-compatible Shapeways 3D printed settings to transform the colorful building blocks from toys into gemstones.
What’s the inspiration and story behind your designs?
Our Playful & Precious jewelry collection came to life when we noticed how much people love LEGO® bricks. They can be found in nearly every home and come in a wonderful array of colors. What if we could magnify them, create jewelry that will make these little bricks as precious as diamonds ? We never stop experimenting and trying to come out with models that will embellish LEGO® Bricks as well as giving you the freedom to build your own jewelry, day after day.
“3D printing is a real revolution for designers. It makes it very easy to bring ideas to life and go from a 3D model to an actual product in your hand. It does not require huge front costs like traditional means of production.”
Can you share your design process?
We started by sketching what a Hint Lab ring would look like. With our firsts concepts, we started by prototyping our ideas in Strong & Flexible plastic. LEGO® Bricks are very precisely made (up to only 0.01 mm in tolerance according to LEGO®), so it took us many iterations to get the dimensions of our prints right and make sure bricks can be easily changed and yet are securely held on our rings. When we were satisfied with our designs, we prototyped in Silver and had again to make multiple iterations because tolerances for this material are different.
What opportunities do you believe 3D printing brings to artists? How is that demonstrated in your work?
3D printing is a real revolution for designers. It makes it very easy to bring ideas to life and go from a 3D model to an actual product in your hand. It does not require huge front costs like traditional means of production. 3D printing also allows for custom orders in size, material and more, as each item is made to order.
Please note that Shapeways and Hint Lab are not affiliated with the LEGO® Group and brand.