Roberta Cassese is an Italian designer who went from being a jewelry maker hobbyist to being the CEO of KOD Design, a 3D printed jewelry brand. Her background is in architecture, as she graduated from Rome’s National Institute of Architecture with a Master in Digital Architecture and has since then worked as an interior designer, specialized in home furniture.
Roberta, could you let us know about your background and your journey to Additive Manufacturing?
It was in November 2018 that I purchased my first 3D printer: I had never used it before, I had only heard friends (men only) talk about the potential of this tool. I Immediately started experimenting and learning how to use the printer by myself. For a month, after my day job, I dedicated myself to learn about 3D printing with constancy and diligence. I started drawing using Fusion360 and created my first jewelry collection with the 3D printer that I presented at the Digital Arts Festival in December of the same year. Simultaneously, with the development of the products, I gave a name to what I was doing: “KOD Artigianato Tecnologico”, consequently creating a logo and the packaging to be able to present them.
So, what exactly is KOD Artigianato Tecnologico and what is the story behind it?
I have always had a passion for jewelry, I always go in search of unique and original pieces, and for this reason I felt the need to create them by myself and the 3D printer was an excellent way to make this dream come true. Following this strong passion, KOD was born.
KOD (from Russian Код = code) is a project that encompasses the 3D printing process for the creation of PLA jewels (it is polyactic acid, a polymer derived from plants such as corn, wheat or beet, rich in sugar natural). The design of KOD products, characterized by geometric shapes, follows a well-defined style, always experimenting with new concepts and new shapes.
With my 3D jewels, I participated in various events and organized two “Experiences” related to music. A Limited KOD Collection is in fact inspired by the covers of some of the most famous records that have made the history of music. This is how 3D printing has become my main hobby!
To date, what would you say is your greatest achievement in Additive Manufacturing?
My biggest success is realizing my ideas: thanks to the use of the 3D printer I can create everything I have in mind by myself. The greatest satisfaction is knowing that there are many people who appreciate the design and thought behind a jewel designed and made by me.
Have you run into any challenges from being a woman 3D Printing?
Currently still few people use the 3D printer to make jewelry, at the moment maybe I’m the only woman (or among the very few) who is doing it in the south of Italy. But despite this, my work is highly appreciated (by men and women) both for the originality of the production and for the design that characterizes KOD jewels.
What makes the 3D printing industry particularly interesting for you?
The 3D printing industry is a truly vast and fascinating world. It embraces every sector (design, art, medicine, etc.), it can help aesthetics but it can also save lives. For example, in this historical moment, where thousands of people are losing their lives due to the Coronavirus, thanks to 3D printing, they have been able to quickly help hospitals with the creation of valves for respirators. The 3D printing is a developing world, increasingly within everyone’s reach and which will most likely also change our daily habits.
What is the most impressive or impactful use of 3D printing you’ve seen so far?
Certainly the most impactful use of the 3D printer occurs in medicine. It is impressive to know that human organs or skin tissues can be reconstructed with the 3D printer. But another area that amazed me so much is that of construction: several construction companies have turned to 3D printing to build houses. These two examples make us understand the enormous potential of this tool!
Where do you think the industry will move to in the next 10 years?
I believe that in the next few years the possibility of 3D printing will be within everyone’s reach. Most likely, companies that currently sell a finished product will start selling files and everyone will print the product they want in their home. I believe that habits and ways of thinking will change!
What advice do you have for women looking to get started in 3D Printing?
Based on my experience, I definitely recommend to not give up at the first difficulty, to not be afraid of making mistakes and experimenting.
We are now lucky enough to find everything on the net, even if we are unable to solve a problem or do not know where to turn, it is easy to find tutorials and material are easily found.
In your opinion, how could we encourage more women to become involved with Additive Manufacturing?
Surely the stories from other women help and encourage and many times they are also a starting point for innovative ideas. But as for all things, until you do not know, for this reason, to try the use of new technologies, is the best way to convince them to use them.
Favorite 3D tool? Autodesk Fusion 360
Favorite moment in your day job? Being positively surprised to see an object made that until a moment before was just an idea.
What’s on your 3D Printing wishlist for the next 5 years? Having the possibility of using much larger printers with greater potential