The moment we saw Dario Scapitta's work online, we fell in love with his designs. What really caught our attention, though, is his use of 3D printing technology to manufacture jewelry. We asked him to share a bit about his work and inspiration.
Novedge: Tell us about yourself and what you do.
Dario Scapitta: I was born in Valenza (Italy) a capital of the Italian jewellery business. Since a young age, I heard about jewelry design, my parents and my brother were all working in the business. I studied jewellery design in high school, then received a degree in set and costume design at the Academy of Fine Art of Brera in Milan. My passion was always jewelry design, though, so that entire time I worked in the field. I started experimenting with 3D CAD more than 10 years ago and I was hooked. In 2005 I came back to Valenza, where I joined a 3D CAD and prototyping studio that specialized in the jewellery sector: it was there that I discovered the truly amazing power of 3D printing technology.
Two years ago I decided to move to The Netherlands. New country, new culture, new experiences. I had a desire to change, find new inspiration. I started to work on new personal ideas and finally, on my birthday, Dario Scapitta Design was born! Running my own company means I can be very independent. I put my energy and all I have learned in creating original collections, designing different objects that people would like to wear. Jewelry design for me is not only diamonds and gold, but also different materials, which is why 3D printing technology is so perfect for my work, it allows me to experiment and play with colors and shapes while focusing on designing something beautiful.
Novedge: Where do you find inspiration?
Dario Scapitta: I find inspiration in nature, fashion, the arts, architecture and everything that surrounds me. Every day I can find something different that amazes me and that can be transformed in a piece of jewelry. Research and curiosity are very important for a designer, especially when involved with fashion. I have an artistic background and I have learned a lot from the past, from Giotto to Leonardo da Vinci, from Michelangelo to Picasso. Today I am also influenced by the media. And as an Italian I love our big fashion designers, especially Giorgio Armani, with his pure and elegant style.
Novedge: What is a recent project you worked on?
Dario Scapitta: At the moment I am focusing on promoting my work and my collections. In June 2011 my STONE necklace won Second Place in the 3D Printed Jewelry Contest by i.materialise. This meant a lot to me, as I pushed myself out of my comfort zone with this project.
Another great opportunity was another i.materialise contest, the Hats off to 3D Printing Design Challenge where my BUTTERFLY hat was selected as runner-up and showed for the first time in the fashion show during the Materialise World Conference in Leuven, Belgium.
My collections are often inspired by nature, like my BLACK ROSE collection. I wanted to design a pure and simple rose silhouette that would look like a drawing on the skin.
My SPARKLING collection is inspired by the sparkling bubbles of Prosecco wine.
And the SNAKE collection is a modern jewellery set, a simple and contemporary design easy to wear with different outfits.
All these collections are made using polyamide (sintered nylon) and 3D printing technology. I love polyamide because it is flexible and strong and it has a texture that resembles organic material. These collections are printed by SHAPEWAYS, and it's thanks to their great technological and advanced support that I can do this type of work.
I also use other materials, like silver for my PEPITA collection. These pieces are 3D printed in wax and then produced through the lost wax casting procedure. This collection is produced by i.materialise.
I'm also working on new designs and projects:I would like to mix different materials together, like stainless steel or silver with polyamide. 3D printing technology is evolving so fast, the only limit is our imagination.
Novedge: What software do you use? Tell us why.
Dario Scapitta: I use Rhinoceros. It is very good software, not very expensive, and easy to use. You can model starting from curves and surfaces and using different plug-ins. I find its tools especially ideal for jewelry design. Also, when combined with T-Splines, Rhinoceros is perfect for modeling free forms. You can export files in xtl format which is perfect for 3D printing. For me, this has been the best solution.
Novedge: What innovations do you see in your field, now or in the future?
Dario Scapitta: 3D printing technology has been used in the jewellery field for almost 10 years. It has really improved, and the most important 3D companies are testing new materials every day. It would be great to be able to print linked metal objects, like a link of chains. I'd love to see that, and it's only a matter of time, as this technology is improving so fast.
I'm using 3D printing not only to show how many complex forms I can design, but as a new tool to realize my ideas. It's a perfect solution to test a new design, and to test materials and how an object feels on the body. I can't wait for more and more materials to become available, it will be fun to come up with new designs to use them.
To read more about Dario and his work, visit his website at Dario Scapitta Design.