Monday, April 29, 2013

3D printing you can wear

3D printing is becoming increasingly popular for all the benefits it can bring to artists everywhere. Not long ago, 3D printers were amazingly expensive, now they are (somewhat) affordable. And everyday someone finds a new way to use these printers to create something different.

In Match, style icon Dita Von Teese debuted this fabulous dress at the Ace Hotel. It's really something that catches the eye, really structured and beautiful. And it was 3D-printed.

This dress was born out of a collaboration between designer Michael Schmidt and architect Francis Bitonti. The dress is made from hardened powdered nylon that still allows for movement. It's made of 17 unique pieces and 3000 joints to allow the dress to move with the body. The 3D-printing design studio Shapeways printed each piece to be lacquered black and adorned with 13000 black Swarovski crystals. Each component is hollow so, although the dress looks quite heavy, it weighs 11.5 pounds (as a reference, Dita normally wears garments that weight 80 pounds...).

Although the materials were different, the dress seems to move quite like it should. Francis said "The curvature is always changing as she moves."

"The dress was not meant to be a futuristic sci-fi vision or anything, it was made to be an extension of her persona rendered through these futuristic means," Schmidt said. "It's still in keeping with her old-world glamour." The dress will go on tour and be displayed first at Swarovski and then in museums, but as Schmidt said, "no other woman but Dita will ever wear this dress."

(saw it here)