KEA case study

Industry: Education
Application: Jewellery
Benefits of 3D Printing:

- An educational learning tool
- Practical application
- New manufacturing techniques using Formlabs' resins

The Copenhagen School of Design and Technology (KEA) is one of the world’s foremost educational institutions for technology and design. Founded in 2009, KEA is a higher education institution for creative doers and professionals, with a range of courses, degrees and programmes spanning 3 levels of education.

One of KEA’s most popular undergraduate programmes is the Jewelry, Technology, and Business program headed by Lars Sögaard Nielsen. This course covers the traditional and modern steps in jewellery design and manufacturing, from CAD to 3D printing. Lars Sögaard Nielsen, a goldsmith by trade, heads the course to help students stay ahead of manufacturing trends and learn about the digital tools now used to manufacture jewellery.

KEA invested in a Formlabs Form 2 3D printer to bring 3D printing in-house. This way, students have access to the tools they need for practical learning.

Practical Learning with 3D Printing

One of the course’s aims is to give students an upper hand in the real-world. With 3D printing and 3D modelling seeing increased demand in the jewellery industry, students with knowledge of these technologies are more likely to be accepted into employment within a matter of months than students without that knowledge. As Nielsen explains, “Experience with digital technologies is a big advantage today. When you see job offers, and you mention that you know how to work in 3D modelling and 3D printing, you are in a much better position than the person without this knowledge”

KEA

Key to the success of the course is practical application. Theory can only go so far when educating about design and technology. To this end, having 3D printers in-house ensures that KEA can meet the education demands of students. As Nielsen explains, “When you have a 3D printer on your desk, you can really test things out,” Nielsen says. “It has become much easier to teach about 3D printing as the technology is getting easier to use, and the Form 2 is a great example of this. The more the students put into learning the technology, and the more they embrace making mistakes, the more they get out of it in the end.”

An Engaging and Valuable Learning Tool

At KEA, students 3D print jewellery prototypes with Black Resin, which is specially formulated with a matte finish for very small features and intricate details. Castable Resin is then used to cast into gold and silver. Castable Resin burns out cleanly and delivers high-quality results every time, so long as Formlabs’ burnout instructions are followed.

KEA

Third-year students Madeleine Le Kruse Madsen and Astrid Ann Landt utilised 3D printing for their last semester on the Jewelry, Technology, and Business program. As part of their last project, they set up a company, designed jewellery prototypes, produced jewellery pieces and sold them to customers. The project, called ‘Jewelry for Change’, was a resounding success and the team made a sizeable revenue pocket of €13,000.

KEA

“It was easy for me to learn to draw in 3D. The things that we’ve made for this project, I could have never done by hand. I think the possibilities of creating something unique and more advanced is so much greater when we can design and 3D print,” Madsen says. “Learning how to make jewellery digitally gives you a different toolset to choose from. It looks great on your job application and is an advantage you have when working with jewellery manufacturers. For example, if they want someone who understands the digital process and can communicate this to manufacturers, we would be equipped to do so.”

“We chose KEA because the program combines theory with practice. We learned not only how to draw in CAD, print, and cast, but how to think like an entrepreneur and put these learnings to use. It was a surprise, but we were even profitable with our Jewelry for Change project! So we essentially set up a business within our education,” says Madsen.

Enjoy this case study?

Are you a school, college, university or other educational institution interested in the wonders of 3D printing? If so, you’ll be pleased to learn that 3D printing has many practical applications and suits a wide range of courses, from jewellery diplomas to engineering degrees. Check out our latest educational case studies for more inspiration, or check out our education page to find out more about potential applications.

3D Printer: Form 2

Material(s) used: Castable and Black Resin.

This information was first published on the Formlabs website.