Taking 3D Printing To The Luxe Level

A technology that was once reserved for prototypes of resin based machine parts has now gone luxe with gold, silver and platinum jewelry that combines the traditional skill of old with futuristic new. Where traditional jewelry production involves a goldsmith, wax or resin molds and hand working the metal to create the original piece, Daniel Christian Tang, a Canadian startup company, has turned tradition on its head with their 3D metal printing process.

Mario Lavorato, Luca Lavorato, Heng Tang

The company’s founders are Luca Daniel Lavorato, Mario Christian Lavorato and Heng Tang Quanh. Heng and Mario met at the University of Toronto where they both obtained a Masters of Architecture (M.Arch). Their first major project using 3D printing for architecture involved creating photo-reactive skins designed to control the level of heat within a building. “Think of it as a honeycomb-like covering that allows the transfer of heat with no additional energy required,” explains Heng. “That design model became the inspiration behind our Hive jewelry collection.”

As Mario and Heng honed their skills in programming, 3D printing and design for architecture, Luca was at the University of Waterloo obtaining a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) and Honors Civil Engineering. Their combined skills prove to be invaluable when creating jewelry with precious metals. “While luxury jewelry is, first and foremost, appealing to the eye, high standards of quality and durability must also be considered,” says Luca. “Driven by the size of the 3D printer bed, which determines the possible intricacies of design, we knew we had the talent and equipment to create unique and highly attractive jewelry unlike anything on the market today.”

Examples of DCT Hive Collection

“HalTech has provided us with invaluable support and guidance with market strategy, securing grant funding and facilitating introductions with luxury brand retailers… We look forward to continuing our relationship with them as our company’s horizon continues to expand.”

– Heng Tang

Mario’s enthusiasm for the endless design possibilities is contagious and evident. “It’s a really exciting time to be a product designer right now,” says Mario. “New technologies are allowing brands to create products that are inspiringly unique and near limitless in physical design boundaries. It’s an incredible phenomenon.”

By the Spring of 2015, the company launched their 3D-printed jewelry brand on The Shopping Channel, which greatly increased their exposure. Soon after, they were nominated for a Canadian Arts in Fashion Award for emerging designer, and caught the attention of Orpheus, the global fashion intermediary. With locations in Berlin and Dubai, their jewelry is now in the hands of buyers of luxe goods from across Europe and the Middle East. On March 17th their 3D-printed luxury collections and novel large scale pieces will be showcased at Toronto Fashion Week.

Since their inception, the company has experienced exponential growth in jewelry production and sales. Currently, their products are designed in Canada and manufactured in Hong Kong. However, their ultimate goal is to have all of their operations, from concept design to prototype and final production in Canada. In the Fall of 2015, HalTech Regional Innovation Centre connected Heng with Javelin Technologies, a growing and successful Halton-based CAD/CAM design and 3D printing company, as a possible means to make that goal a reality.

Stay tuned for Daniel Christian Tang’s next project that will put the customer in the artists’ seat and take jewelry design to the next level.

More information on DCT is available at https://www.danielchristiantang.com