Youjung Choi is a designer of eyewear for 3D printing with Selin Olmsted Eyewear Design studio.
Nora Toure: YouJung, could you let us know about your background and what brought you to 3D printing in the first place?
Youjung Choi: I was born and raised half of my life in Seoul, Korea. Through my parent’s support, I had an amazing opportunity to study abroad. As a result, at the age of 15, my journey as an international student began with my first education at Walnut Hill Arts High School in Natick, Massachusetts for 4 years. I continued to study at SVA in New York and graduated in 2015 with BFA degree in Graphic Design.
For the next 2.5 years, I was a lead designer at Good vs Evil which was a boutique advertising and design studio helping non-profit organizations brand and market themselves and focused on creating do-good initiatives for for-profit companies. Afterward, my interest and ambition in 3D design lead me to become one of only 200 eyewear designers in the United States.
Currently while designing eyewear, a majority of designers including myself are using software, such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Indesign. But now since the technology has continued to develop and more 3D printing has been introduced to the industry, my team started learning Rhinoceros, a 3D design, modeling, and surfacing program.
Using a 3D design program allows us to prepare the design files to be 3D print-friendly. As we introduce more 3D printing to our design process, we can cut down the lead time of development by 1-2months. Also, creating 3D prototypes mock-ups will help our team make accurate & more elaborate presentations to the clients.
Nora Toure: What was your very first experience with 3D Printing?
Youjung Choi: My first experience in 3D printing was when I was invited to Womb 3D printing studio at Green-point. I found out that 3D printing could give us a shorter proto sample time not only in acetate but also in metal as well. This opened our doors to be more creativity with our design ideas and keep our prototyping lead times short as well. Also, some of our manufactures started to send us the 3D printing first proto samples because they are also integrating 3D printing processes into their production cycle.
This was especially true when we were designing a collaboration design between Article One and Tracksmith. Everything was created and prototyped with the manufacturer in a 3D file format. The design was quite tricky as we were tasked to design special silicon rubber nose pads and rubber temple tip inserts. This was in order to design a completely new fashion trend by combining active wear functional details with classic lifestyle shapes and textures.
Another client, Genusee from Flint, Michigan, also first showed us 3D printed samples of their collection made out of recycled plastic. The incredible thing is that the plastic is from all the water bottles discarded onto the streets of Michigan as a result of the Flint Water Crisis in 2014. Now 4 years later, there is something like 1.4 million empty water bottles littering the city and has become a serious problem for the residents.
Read more at Women in 3D Printing