by Erik Es - Amsterdam, July 2, 2018

  Sometimes new ideas present themselves through mistakes or
accidents. Here's a case where I had several happy accidents in a row,
leading to the unexpected birth of an interesting new technique to
create weird and beautiful 3D shapes from 2D designs.

I love spirals, so one day I decided to design some earrings with a
fairly basic spiral pattern. First I made a 2D design of a spiraling line
with a width of 0.8 mm. (That way the model can be printed in one
continuous motion using a standard 0.4 mm nozzle.)
I then turned it into a 3D model by "raising" the spiral to a thickness
of 2 mm.
To attach it to an earring hook, this design would need to have a
small ring added to the end of the spiral, which I found a pity
because the design would look less "clean" that way.
So instead of a ring I added a second spiral. First I used a much
smaller spiral, but then I thought it would look nice to add one that
was just a bit smaller than the first one.
Here the first unplanned bonus happened: this earring can be worn in
2 ways by just moving the hook from one spiral to the other, without
the need to open the ring of the hook.
Also, each pair consists of 2 mirrored prints, so you can switch the
left and right one for a slightly different effect. So there are 4
different ways to wear these - cool...

Sometimes women with dark hair decide to try some black earrings,
and then find that the design doesn't look very nice against the dark
background of their hair. I always have the models in white and other
light colours as well, but quite often they don't like the design in
white or other colours (it's true, some just look best in black...) so
then they decide to leave it.

To solve this, I decided to print some of these earrings with 2 layers
of different colours. That way I can give a black earring a white back,
making the design much more visible against a dark background.
And of course other colour combinations can work well too, so I
made a few pairs and put them up in the shop to test the customers'
reactions. The design proved quite popular, so I decided to make a
good series of them. Over the next couple of days I printed quite a
few of them in different colours and colour combinations.
  One slightly unfortunate fact: as you see here, when changing the
earrings between "up" and "down" style, they also turn back to front,
which might be undesirable. However, it is pretty easy to open up the
ring a bit and flip the print.

With that, one pair of these 2-colour earrings can be worn in 8
different ways - or even 32 if you include the option to wear an
asymmetric pair...

Read PART 2 to find out how the creation of these earrings led to
the birth of another great model - the Spring Ball.