1st 3D Printed Dress

Definitely, the technique of 3D print is a hot topic. Some analysts anticipate the third industrial revolution. We already talked about rapid-prototyping on Fashion Salad, especially related to shoe design (designers such as Iris Van Herpen, Andreia Chaves, Julian Hakes and Marloes ten Bhomer already developed quality avant-garde products, well received both in museums and on the fashion market).

But applying the process of 3D printing to a larger category of garments is still problematic. The 3D printed gown, developed by Michael Schmidt and Francis Bitonti promisses a new age for the fashion industry. The product was mediatized as the first full 3D print garment. In reality, Iris van Herpen already did it (remember her rapid-prototyled couture-pieces?).

In Manhattan, Dita Von Teese recently modelled a specially printed nylon mesh dress for a private runway event. The gown was designed in collaboration by Michael Schmidt and Francis Bitonti and printed on a 3-D printer at Shapeways. The garment was designed to fit Dita’s body, moving and flowing on her famous curves. The mesh is a smart choice because it allows flexibility, which is a great achievement compared to previous attempts, still rigid, therefore impossible to wear on the daily basis. Bitonti used Von Teese’s measurements, building a 3-D model of the dress and adapting Schmidt’s original sketch to fit her body using Maya, the high-end design software used for commercial projects including architecture, product manufacturing, and animated movies. Then in Rhino, another design software that allows for precise surface manipulation, he detailed 2,633 independent rings, or links, that formed the body of the dress. The whole thing was laser sintered on an EOS P350 in 17 parts which were then manually assembled.

Blowing away traditional design methods, 3D printing reveals an entirely new concept of garments production and marketing. Rejecting the hands-on manufacturing, it goes for digital designed combined with machine made. Imagine the impact this could have on the fashion industry, currently based on cheap manufacturing and sweatshops. The development of the 3D scan techniques allows the engineers to design garments on custom fit, so we could rapidly get a costume to fit our particular body.

Indeed, there are many issues to discuss at this point: the proper materials to use (we would like some body friendly materials), the correct price and other technical details as the closure system of such a garment.  But I guess, the big move was already done – they managed to “print’ a wearable garment!

This sounds quite exciting, but, in the same time  it’s a little bit scaring.


images via wired.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *