Q&A: Jewelry Designer Yvonne van Zummeren

In our first ever Q&A, we ask the talented Dutch Jewelry Designer, Yvonne van Zummeren of Dyvsign about her experience with 3D printing and her vision of it’s future:

1) Introduce yourself! What’s your name, where are you from, and what do you do? 

I’m Yvonne van Zummeren, I live in The Netherlands and I design artistic jewelry from a 3D printer. I’m also an Art Historian and I take my inspiration for the jewelry from works of art. With my designs, I try to tell both the story of 3D printing and the original story from the artist.

La Danse des Voiles

Photo courtesy of Dyvsign

 2) When did you first learn about 3D printing? 

At a graduation party at the end of 2010, a friend of mine told me about 3D printing. I had no clue what he was talking about, I just thought he had too many drinks and let his imagination run wild… But months following that I kept hearing about 3D printing and Dutch Fashion Designer Iris van Herpen became my example. I thought what she did was amazing, but not available for “regular people”. I decided to make my designs more accessible.

 3) What was the first thing you ever printed? 

October 2011 I started to really make it happen. There’s a University of Technology in the city where I live, so I thought that would be a good place to start my quest for more 3D printing knowledge. A nice professor gave me an introduction into this amazing world and he also talked about Shapeways. The first thing I ever printed was a napkin ring from a Shapeways easy creation app. I was very excited, and immediately started sketching my own bracelets!

 4) What impact do you envision 3D printing to have on the fashion industry and when?

Personally, I divide 3D printing into two categories: hobby 3D printing and professional 3D printing. Both have different styles, materials and printers. For the professional 3D printing category I envision the future of fashion (including jewelry) to be a more customized to the body of those wearing the fashion. It will have a perfect fit! I also think you’ll see a lot of new fashion/jewelry designers like me, who want to show what’s possible with 3D printing and how it’s not just all technology, but that it can be very fashionable as well! For the hobby 3D printing category, in maybe 10 years from now, you’ll print your own clutch and earrings a couple of minutes before your party taxi arrives, which will match the dress you bought that afternoon.

 5) Do you see 3D printing as a threat to current designer? If not, why? If so, what should be done?

Yes, I can imagine why “professional” fashion and jewelry designers think 3D printing is a threat. I mean, look at me: I don’t have a goldsmith or industrial design education and I’m still a successful jewelry designer. I can imagine that frustrates some designers who did have the education to become “professional” designers. But it’s not only about designing; it’s also about storytelling and being able to market your designs very well.

 6) What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever seen 3D printed?

That would be the “Escher for Real”-project. It’s amazing to see that the drawings of M.C. Escher are coming to life. The files are also made available to download, so you can print Escher’s work yourself!

 7) What material would you love to be able to work with in 3D printers?

I can’t wait for the leather from Modern Meadow to be printed! Until that moment I’d like to experiment with as many materials as possible at Dyvsign. Right now the collection consists of the printed materials nylonpolyamide (very flexible, very easy to wear!) and bronze, but soon there will be others.

In Metal.jpg

Photo courtesy of Dyvsign

8) Do you own a 3D printer? If so, what model? What design software do you use? How did you learn how to use it?

No, I don’t own a 3D printer. These professional 3D printers are way too expensive and I work with many different materials. I use several 3D printing services to print my designs. My 3D-drawer uses Solidworks to turn my concepts and sketches into design files.

 9) What resources would you recommend for someone wanting to do what you do? What should they study?

First of all: find a niche. Something that distinguishes you from other designers. That’s the most important thing! Second: just start! At this moment there’s much more information to be easily found online. Two and half years ago it was much more difficult to find even a little bit of information about 3D printing. But right now there are so many websites, fab labs and 3D printing fairs to be found! Third: if you’re like me and you’re good at thinking in concepts, ideas and sketching on paper but not good at the computer drawing part, find yourself a 3D drawer on the online 3D printing communities or in your own neighborhood. But find someone that understands you, with whom you “click”.

Make sure to check out Yvonne’s beautiful designs at www.dyvsign.com

Innovation begins with education. This is something that rang true for the team behind the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), which marks it’s 25th anniversary this year. What started as a discussion between Mode Collective, The Architect’s Newspaper and public relations firm Tobin and Tucker on the role of education at the ICFF, evolved into DesignX. […]


  1. Good job,Marcia

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