Why Did a Jewellery Biz Go to an Engineering and Machinery Expo?


HIJ exhibited at SouthMACH, an engineering and machinery expo in Christchurch, New Zealand, on 22-23 May 2019, as a part of NZ Techweek.

SouthMACH is an engineering and machinery expo in Christchurch New Zealand. It runs for two days and has fantastic speakers and workshops where people can come and hear about the latest thinking and advancements in technology in New Zealand. Olaf Diegle headlined the event this year. Olaf is the Professor of Additive Manufacturing and Product Development, in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Auckland, in New Zealand,  and has created some amazing 3D-printed musical instruments! Amelia met Olaf last year at 2018 NZ Techweek and he’s been an inspiration into thinking about how Jewellery is a great use-case for 3D-printing. The ability to customise personalise and create small batches is absolutely perfect for additive manufacturing.

HI Jewellery's experience at the SouthMACH expo in Christchurch New Zealand in May 2019.

So here are the 2 big reasons why a jewellery biz went to an engineering and machinery expo:

1 💫 HIJ uses the latest metal manufacturing (3D printing).
Getting to spend time with folks working in this industry was invaluable. Hearing ‘from the horse's mouth’  about the latest innovations, challenges, and opportunities gives HIJ a manufacturing, competitive advantage. Part of our mission is to enable folks to get their hands on the latest tech faster and more easily. So seeing new processes, materials and machines has impacts on our designs and material choices helping us to  continue to develop - using the latest technology - so that you can get your hands on it! For example, we heard about how titanium can be ‘painted’ using an electrified paintbrush oxidising the surface to show different colours. Can’t wait to try this our on our titanium jewellery! Seeing the latest metal additive manufacturing textures and finishes was exciting,  as was seeing some incredible 3D scanning equipment.

NZ’s RAM (Rapid Additive Manufacturing) 3d printed titanium.

NZ’s RAM (Rapid Additive Manufacturing) 3d printed titanium.

2 💫 Showcasing a different career and application of the latest technology.
Another important part of our HIJ mission, and purpose, is to support women and other marginalised genders in technology -and, more widely in  STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths). Engineering and all other STEAM industries are particularly male dominated. HIJ took pride in just being present, within the space, as a woman-led business. We spoke to women engineers, young women, and olderwomen, studying, and transitioning into new STEAM roles. It was such a joy to be an encouragement for women to be themselves, and be proud to be a woman, in STEAM.

HIJ laptop jewellery display.png

HIJ is definitely not a jewellery company for everyone! It was quite fun to watch the different reactions on people’s faces as they walked past our stall at the expo. Ranging from “who is this woman and what, on earth, is she doing here?!” - through to excitement - and folks wanting to know absolutely everything about the designs and 3D printing. It was great to see some of our customers, to make new friends, and to enjoy, something we always love hearing - your feedback and thoughts!

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