Today we would like to introduce Gabriel Guzman (Gabe), who just returned from his trunk show where he presented his jewelry collection, designed with WizeGem application and all 3D printed.
Tell us about yourself:
I’m a scientist by training… a biochemist with a Masters in Medical Microbiology and a Ph.D. in Infectious disease control, now chairing a Science department, and teaching microbiology at a Community College just outside Chicago.
I think I am an ‘accidental designer’. I’m not strange to designing… I attended a technical High School in my home country, where I got a Technical Drafter Diploma. So, I’m used to go through the design process.
What brought you to 3D printing?
I got into 3D printing while researching the technology and its applications to education. I am very adamant on teaching science from the hands-on perspective, and using all kinds of models (usually made out of Styrofoam) to visually explain complex concepts, and have my students play with models to help their learning. I wanted my faculty to explore the potential of 3D printing; to make it easier for their students to understand complex concepts.
I guess one thing lead to another… I manage to convince our school to invest in a few 3D printers, I started by printing models of viruses that I found on Thingiverse, and suddenly, an entire universe of ‘things’ was opened to me… I ended up investing in my first 3D printer.
The next step was to learn how to design my own things, so I didn’t have to rely on models that other people had designed.
How did you learn to design jewelry?
I didn’t know that I wanted to design jewelry until one day I downloaded a file from Thingiverse, a pair of earrings that were really beautiful, printed them and gave them to my wife. It was amazing the comments she would get… I made very simple jewelry designs, printed them in PLA and people were commenting on how beautiful they were. It wasn’t until we visited a gallery, and got invited to have a trunk show to showcase my designs, that I realize that maybe I could do something more serious with my jewelry. Something else I realized is that I truly loved to design pieces that people can actually wear!
I wanted to add more ‘sculpting’ to my pieces and started to look into other tools and software. There were other tools out there, some very expensive, almost prohibitive in price, and others that ranged from free to not-so-expensive, and I started combining them as I learned more and more about how to design for 3D printing.
Which design tool are you using?
One day, I came across WizeGem. I don’t exactly remember how… I think I was searching for specific tools for jewelry design. I decided to try and my first project was a ring. I went through the tutorials, and learned how to add my own textures, and the very basics of the app. Very soon, I recognize that WizeGem would become an integral part of my workflow, precisely because it already had templates that I could manipulate, modify, and combine with other software to incorporate my own thoughts, my own designs, and come up with something that would give me a satisfactory result. I decided to register as a premium user and I have been using the app since then.
How is your experience with WizeGem?
WizeGem has been improving with time… there are more templates, and the developer is very receptive to feedback. For example, I thought that the options for lengths of posts for both earrings and cufflinks were too limited. I wrote an e-mail suggesting different lengths, and I got a reply the same day. The changes to the app were implemented within the next two days. Now, that is fast acting upon feedback! The same thing happened with one of their newest templates for tie clips. I think WizeGem offers the opportunity to those of us that are not experts yet in the traditional design tools (Zbrush, Rhino, Blender, etc), to still come up with very unique designs in a very short period of time. There are still things for me to learn, but so far, WizeGem is an integral part of my jewelry design workflow.