Art + Science = Innovative 3D Printed Jewelry Designs by the Junior Portfolio Students

Stephanie Silverman’s Junior Portfolio 3D Design students just completed an interdisciplinary curricular unit blending art and science to design original wearable 3D printed jewelry. 
Art Department Chair Stephanie Silverman ‘00 states, “Most people think that art is painting, ceramics, and sculpture-traditional media and disciplines. In our art program at Archmere, our program and facilities provide endless opportunities for students to explore design, architecture, emerging technologies, and interdisciplinary and experimental studies to advance their creative work. This blurring or blending of art, technology and science is ultimately preparing students to tackle complex and multidimensional problem-solving, and to contextualize their learning from multiple disciplinary domains into real-world design applications and solutions.”

To begin the project, students completed research and a rigorous preliminary work and posted their sketches, physical 3d models, and inspiration images to the Junior Portfolio Class Blog, a virtual collaborative interactive critique space and archive of student work created to ensure class continuity and connection regardless of the time, space or place students are learning.

Then, students completed a series of practice files using TinkerCAD, a free open source 3d modeling software application. Once students were familiar with the modeling program, they created their own original 3d modeled designs in TinkerCAD for original wearable jewelry designs/works of art. The files were exported out of TinkerCAD as .STL files, a tool path Archmere’s own Makerbot 3D printer can read, which is then generated on an X/Y Axis and replicated in three dimensions in PLA plastic filament.

Students then addressed surface considerations by adding acrylic paint and interference gels to achieve the color and surface quality of their pieces, and added hardware elements to make them wearable. The final designs will be displayed at the 13th Annual Archmere Fine Art Festival, which will take place in the Patio on Friday, April 23 from 5-8pm & Saturday, April 24 from Noon-6pm. Advance Sign-Up Tickets to attend the show are required to see the exhibition.

More about the interdisciplinary unit and the teacher:

In February 2021, Silverman was awarded the Martin Rayala Design Thinking Grant from the National Art Education Association’s Design Issues Group to pilot out her interdisciplinary unit “Juxtapositions & Biomimicry”, focusing on the purposeful blending of science and art. On Saturday, March 6, 2021, she was a featured presenter at the 2021 National Art Education Association [VIRTUAL] Convention. Her presentation, titled “Designing Meaningful Transdisciplinary Learning Experiences: Blending Art & Science to Produce Imaginative Design Solutions” was delivered to an international audience and showcased the innovative work of her Archmere Junior Portfolio 3D Design students.

Silverman’s background in industrial design and design thinking informed the scaffolded and sequenced unit of study, which employed the full iterative design thinking process to optimize imaginative outcomes that fused aesthetic/formal qualities and were also functional, wearable works of art.

Photos and Video of the Interdisciplinary Unit:


Final Design Photos: Final Designs: Junior Portfolio 3D Students Design Wearable 3D Printed Jewelry

Video: Junior Portfolio Using Makerbot 3D Printer for Jewelry Design Project
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    • Avery Ewing '22 Shamrock Necklace

    • Avery Ewing '22 Working on Shamrock Necklace

    • Helen Qi '22 -3D Printed Hair Pin

    • Bella Reeves '22 Honeycomb Necklace

    • Janki Patel '22 Earrings

    • Janki Patel '22 Trying On Her 3D Printed Earrings

Pietate et Scientia

Archmere Academy is a private, Catholic, college preparatory co-educational academy,
grades 9-12 founded in 1932 by the Norbertine Fathers.