Mathematical equations + (3D printer) (mechanical engineers²) = Hypatia Studios Jewelry
In the Beginning
In 2013, Matt Roesle had a PhD in mechanical engineering and a fiance. He wanted to make her a unique braided wedding ring, so he played around with braiding some strings, marked key points on the braid, created an algorithm based on those points, plugged the algorithm into a computer program (that he created), and printed a prototype of the ring on a 3D printer (that he built himself). He never considered himself artistic, but his creative engineering juices were flowing and he was inspired.
Pay Attention, Class, You Will be Tested on This
As a mechanical engineer, Matt worked with simulators to study fluid motion and heat transfer in fluids. These simulations helped him understand how fluids move and react in confined spaces (like in engines). Matt realized he could take the fluid movement observed in these simulations and transform it into art. These pieces of jewelry are not only a picture of fluid movement, but of fluid movement over time.
For the Cahn-Hilliard Droplet Pendant (“Blob”, as he calls it), he did a simulation that looks at two liquids (like oil and water) that are mixed together and eventually separate. He again marked key points in the process and plugged the results into his computer program. From bottom to top, the pendant shows over time, how the liquids are mixed up and then separate. The Turbulent Bangle, based on the Navier-Stokes equation, is from a simulation on how fluid moves over a flat surface (smooth at first, and then more turbulent).
Not all Hypatia jewelry is based on fluid movement. The Platonic Solids Earrings are based on the five Platonic solids (polyhedrons named after Plato that are special because every face is a regular polygon of the same size and shape). The Quaternion Pendant is an interpretation of a fractal producing equation.
Once the prototypes are perfected at home, the information is sent off to a professional 3D printing company who then print the final products that Matt and his wife, Mahi, bring to markets. In the future, Matt hopes to explore new ways to capture the beautiful shapes that fluids take in nature.
It’s a complicated process. If it doesn’t make sense to you, that’s okay. You can just enjoy the beauty of the jewelry and know that there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. And visit their website to learn more, see more, and find out where to find them.