Ann Marie Shillito







Ann Marie is by training a designer jeweller. In 2007 she founded Edinburgh-based Company, Anarkik3D, with software engineer Xiaoqing Cao, having understood through both her own experience and then research at Edinburgh College of Art that there was a big gap in the Computer Aided Design market. Designer makers, applied artists and 3D artists don’t work like engineers and product designers. Creative people in the arts need 3D modelling software that is designed for their own way of working and thinking, and one that enables them to develop their own aesthetic! Anarkik3D Design is a haptic 3D modelling package which Anarkik3D developed and has now released a Mac version of this remarkable programme as many artists prefer to use Apple Macs in their work. What makes this Anarkik3D Design package so special and easier to use for this group is the haptic (touch) technology that Ann Marie and Xiaoqing combined with their software (Cloud9). Cloud9 is coupled with a Falcon haptic device which allows users to physically feel the objects they are designing on screen, in 3D, by sensing the force feedback given through the grip of the device when the cursor encounters the virtual object. The effect is the experience of feeling in 3D both the object being created, its surface properties and the sensations of physicality as the object is manipulated. This makes the programme easier to learn as it taps into how we interact with objects in the real world. By being more natural to use the learning curve is slight and as the interface is less complex than CAD's there is less disruption of cognitive flow. These elements are fundamental to getting into designing and creating as it makes being able to explore, experiment and play possible in the risk free environment that digital technologies offer. The aim was also to make a product that is more affordable so that designer makers and applied artists can embrace 3D modelling and access 3D printing. Ann Marie uses these technology to return to designing and making her jewellery. Having her designs 3D printed makes it easier for her to continue her practice as arthritis in her thumbs restricts the time she can do handwork at the bench. She has also uses her knowledge and skills as a designer to test each improvement that is developed for the next release of Anarkik3D Design, to run workshops and masterclasses on 3D modelling for 3D printing, and to write a book, published by Bloomsbury titles 'Digital Crafts: Industrial Technologies for Applied Artists and Designer Makers' which covers many of the digital technologies available for us to use in our practices. In 2017 Ann Marie co-curated an exhibition in Vienna of 3D printed jewellery by 10 international jewellers, 4 of whom live and work in Scotland. For this event she included 3 new designs of jewellery and also ran a 2 day workshop as an introduction to 3D modelling for 3D printing for 10 designer makers and jewellers. Ann Marie is the Creative Director of a new start-up, Touchable Universe, that aims to make haptic technology easier for developers to embed in their products, whether for gaming or training and for combining with VR systems.