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Oscillating creations capture 3D design prize

09 January 2013



Fusilli is a wrist accessory generated from a simple algorithm


Sine bowl was conceptualised from the designer's observation of physical oscillations and waves

Fluid designs conceived from mathematical oscillations obviously resonated with judges at the Purmundus Challenge 2012 in Germany, such that they awarded the pieces the top prize. Mr Clement Zheng, the Singapore creator who is an NUS teaching staff, beat some 40 contestants from around the world to clinch the honour in the international three-dimensional (3D) printing competition.

Mr Zheng, a recent graduate of NUS' Division of industrial Design, submitted two winning designs for the theme of "jewellery for human beings or their direct environment".

Fusilli is a wrist accessory generated from a simple algorithm during an exploration of mathematical oscillations and their 3D paths. Coupled with the nylon selective laser sintering manufacturing technique, the perpetually spiralling form of Fusilli expands, twists and contracts with surprising ease. This elasticity and visual lightness emphasise a new materiality not possible through conventional product design methods.

Sine bowl was conceptualised from the designer's observation of physical oscillations and waves. These oscillations were abstracted to simple trigonometric equations in space and through an algorithm, giving rise to interwoven threads that wrap around 3D surfaces.

Mr Zheng designs with the relationships between objects, people and the context in mind, and believes in enriching the atmosphere through accurate placement of objects in everyday life. He has a keen interest in phenomenology, sciences and mathematics, and enjoys creating in an intuitive manner.

He said of his achievement: "The challenge was really in communicating a piece of design through completely digital means to the organiser in another country, and this was also the most exciting part for me. The organisers could take the digital files of my submissions and reproduce the piece exactly through 3D printing, which really shows the paradigm shift for design and manufacturing. I would definitely be continuing my work and explorations in this area of digital design."

The challenge was sponsored by purmundus, a studio with the German label for "customised mass production", in cooperation with DEMAT GmbH at EuroMold 2012. The competition encourages artists, designers and engineers to utilise creative freedom of 3D printing to design innovative concepts for industrially produced jewellery.


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