Monday, January 13, 2020

A STEM Project: How To Design Geometric Earrings With The Silhouette Cameo Software

Geometric Earrings 

Designing geometric earrings is an interesting way to have fun with math.  How many different shapes can you design using the Flexishape tool in the Silhouette software? There are quite a few shapes that can be used to create unique earring designs. Once you make the shape, add a .05 inch circle for the earring back.   Offset this circle by .04 and weld the two circles to the top of your design.

The Flexishapes are on the left side in the above screen shot.

I have included a few designs in my file that I created with the flexishapes.  I especially like the graduated designs with different colors of leather combined on a jump ring and attached to an earring back. The jump ring and earring back are called findings. Findings are materials that are needed to make jewelry not including gemstones, beads or stringing materials.  They can be purchased at a craft store like Michaels or Joanns.  I got my findings at Walmart.

The faux leather that I used was purchased at Michaels.  It was the Cricut brand faux leather in five colors. It was daunting to think about how many color combinations there were to make with my design with three layers of leather. I didn't want to make too many tests of the material because it would be expensive and I didn't want to waste the material. I decided to virtually design the earrings where I could test out all of the color combinations.  It is easy to do with the Designer Edition software.  

Take a photo of the material that you are planning to use for your design. 

Copy the photo into your Silhouette software. Pick the colors of the photo using the eyedropper tool and make a custom palette for the Faux Leather.  Here is a video that explains how to do this.
Move the photo of the leather off of the page (it's nice for reference if you look at your palette another day).

For the next step, you can use the file that I created for my design. (If you want, you can create something similar for your design.) Here is my .Studio file for the custom color designs

I decided that the five color palette was too many choices for my three tiered earrings. It would be three to the fifth power, 3= 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 243 choices for five colors. With a more limited palette of just three colors, it would be three to the third power, 33 =  3 x 3 x 3 = 27 choices. 

I also added a two tiered version of my design to my custom color file. The number of combinations would be three to the second power, 3= 3 x 3 = 9  There are four versions of this two tiered design.

In the Select By Color Menu, select By Fill.

If you select the Red color, the bounding box for all red filled objects will be included.

In the top left of the screen, select the red and a pull down menu of colors will appear. Select the tan color.

This is the result once the tan color is selected. Repeat for the other two colors.

A virtual look of the earring designs with three colors.

Here is the PDF.

Here is the .Studio file.

I used the faux leather setting when cutting the leather with my Silhouette.  It was cut with a ratchet blade set at 7, Force 33, Speed 3 and Passes 1.

Here is a tip when cutting expensive material.  Write a note on the back of the material and give it a name.  This name will become the file name for this material.  Load your material as evenly as possible. Cut out your design.  Once the design has been cut, go to line style and make the cut design another color that you do not use. Do not delete the design.  Save the file to your library. The next time you need to use the material, open the file and then you will know approximately where to cut the next design. Repeat this procedure each time you use this material. When the material is used up, delete the file from your library.

Once the earring design is cut with your Silhouette, use a jump ring to attach it to the leather. The jump ring is a circular piece of wire.  Open the wire and thread the jump ring through the leather. Above is a photo of the earrings with their jump rings attached.

Attach the earring back to the jump ring by hooking the jump ring through the circular piece of wire at the the bottom of the earring back. Close the jump ring into a circle.  A drop of glue can added to the point where the jump ring is closed.  This will prevent the jump ring from opening up inadvertently. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Elaine,
    thank you very much for the files. I love the earrings!