As my girlfriend and I approached our fifth year of dating, I wanted to get her something nice to celebrate the occassion. But since starting Jolt, between self-funding early development and bootstrapping without paying myself, I’ve had to keep a tight budget. After getting a 3D printer for Christmas, however, I decided to design her a necklace pendant. The small size would help keep costs down, while allowing me to quickly iterate on designs with my printer before sending the final design to Shapeways to be printed in metal. I wanted to keep the design light and minimize the amount of material so I wouldn’t be giving her an uncomfortable block of metal to hang around her neck. After experimenting with a few different concepts, I landed on a design that would incorporate our initials, “B” for Ben and “K” for Kirsten.
By overlapping the letters and turning them on their side, I was able to create a heart in the space between. This rotation also created lateral symmetry to help the pendant to hang evenly and made for a neat abstract design with the letters less obvious. To maintain the clarity and simplicity of the design, I decided on a non-traditional method for hanging the pendant. Rather than adding a loop at the top, I put two holes through the edge of the bounding ring to allow the necklace chain to pass through and sit flush with the ring.
After a few tests on my printer to dial in the shape and size of these holes for her necklace chain, I put in my order on Shapeways, and, a few weeks later, the final piece arrived. It’s made from stainless steel with a polished bronze finish. The quality and finish of the print are awesome, and I can’t wait to order more prints from this material in the future.