Category Archives: Fashion

America’s Most Beloved Cities, Wrapped Around Your Finger

Whether you’re from San Francisco, New York, Detroit, or Atlanta – these contemporary rings are made for representing your favorite city, no matter where you are.

Whether or not you’re from Bahston Boston, these wickedly amazing cityscape rings by Shekhtwoman let you wear your city around your finger. And if you’re a transplant from another city, her collection includes major metropolitan areas around the world such as NYC, Amsterdam, Los Angeles and MORE.

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Maybe your fingers can’t hold anymore bling because you’ve totally stocked up on rings that show off who YOU are. If the Rock N’ Roll hall of fame or Orioles get you excited, 3by3D has an excellent way to let you subtly show off your favorite city.

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We also love her whimsical jewelry stands and wall art.  Five Bikes: Wire Wall Art is a great gift for any bike lover and also makes for an easy fix if your walls need a little sprucing up, especially if you live in Amsterdam :) .

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What’s your favorite city?

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How to Wear Your Plants

Posted by in Fashion, Jewelry

Running out of room for teeny plants in your tiny house? Fashion has come to your rescue! Artists all over the world are reimagining the boring clay pot planter as wearable art in the latest trend that brings jewelry to the intersection of nature and technology.

Here’s 5 ways to work the wearable planter trend:

If flowers could talk the Little Earring Planter by Yelet wouldn’t be quite so wearable, but thankfully our floral friends are the pretty and silent type. Add tiny real flowers like cherry blossoms, or short dried lavender sprigs. For a bolder pop of color that won’t wilt after a long day of wear add tiny bright silk flowers.

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You’re already wearing Google Glass, so you’re no stranger to being an explorer, making your own trends. The GlassKap Wearable Planter by Baltimore will help keep you planted while your head is flying high on the next big thing.

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According to artist Colleen Jordan diamonds are “so last century” so swap the rock for a tiny bit of soil and plant. Thinking your wearable greenery might clash with yellow? No worries. The Icosahedron Planter Ring is available in white, purple, red and more.

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3d printed in durable nylon Wearable Planter No. 3 by Colleen Jordan is watertight – perfect for those looking for true planter functionality. Add soil, small succulent plant and a cotton or leather cord for an eco-chic look that will have people asking- “Is that really a..”

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All the charm of a bicycle bell- with a little more romance. Add a fresh bouquet to your bike’s handlebars with the Scalloped Bike Planter by Colleen Jordan. It clips right onto your handlebars- no hardware needed.

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How could this look possibly get any greener? All of these pieces are 3D printed on demand in Long Island City, NY- not gobbling up fossil fuels on a long transatlantic journey and air conditioned warehouse.

If you prefer your planters as home decor, check out our whole line of 3d printed home decor, including unique planters.

See Them Grow

How To Add Glam To Your FitBit Flex

Some say the FitBit Flex is the ultimate wearable fitness tracker. Its pricepoint, durability and battery life put it ahead of the pack, all while touting the now infamous FitBit monicker.

But sometimes you want to wear something a bit more upscale than a not-so-flashy rubber-and-plastic(ish) fitness tracker. Bytten makes that possible, completely transforming your FitBit without losing a step. They come in multiple colors, materials and styles; and some are even customizable! Whether you want something edgy… Elegant… Simple… Or completely custom… It’s all here. Check out Bytten’s shop, and tell us how you spice up your FitBit.

Look Awesome this Summer with 3D Printed Accessories

The April rain has finally subsided and the air of summer is moving in! Of course, the warm air brings with it the bliss of rooftop parties, amazing music, and tons of other events – all of which require a different look and outfit.

If you’re seeking for those perfect summer accessories, search no further. We’ve picked the best 3D printed products that will keep you looking cool even in the heat of the summer.

 





These are just a few of our favorite products – want to see more? Check out our list of Summer Must Haves!

 

3D Printed Fashion, Can It Save the Planet? Sabina Saga’s Vision

Americans send 10.5 million tons of clothing to landfills each year.

If you have trouble wrapping your head around just how many articles of clothing that actually is – consider that if each article of clothing is an ounce, then that means there are 326,400,000,000 articles of clothing sitting in a landfill from 2015 alone. Sabina Saga, a Kazakhstan-born designer, has a solution for this and she believes it relies on 3D printing.

Sabina Saga’s 3D Printed Dress
Sabina Saga’s 3D Printed Dress

Sabina Saga moved to NYC in 2007, setting out to become a fashion designer. As she began her undergraduate studies at FIT, she launched her journey into the realm of 3D printed fashion. Little did she know that her time at FIT was setting the groundwork for a new vision of the future: what if 3D printed fashion is the path to a healthier planet, or even, a healthier person?

“In the modern world of fashion, the consumer is aware of current trends and styles,” Sabina says. “They want something fresh every week to keep up with trends. I am looking forward to the near future where it would be possible to throw an old 3D printed garment back into the printer and print a new look in a new color and shape as frequently as desirable, one layer at a time, using only the necessary amount of material required for each part with near zero waste in an energy efficient process.”

SabinaSaga.AW16.LondonFashionWeekSabina Saga’s AW16 Bridal Collection

Imagine that — a future where you can iterate your fashion choices based not only on how you yourself evolve, but the vision doesn’t stop there. Sabina also believes your choices can evolve in relation to your environment.

“3D printed fashion stands a chance of becoming essential in order to protect us from polluted external sources,” she says.

Fundamentally, fashion is about expressing yourself and communicating your individuality to the external world; but the external world has its dangers. Whether it’s polluted air, UV radiation, viruses and allergies, there are unavoidable forces in the modern world that effect and influence us. Perhaps, using the right technology, we can supplement our fashion choices by creating garments that not only express who we are, but protect who we are.

In order to actualize this future, Sabina has taken her work to UAL-Chelsea College of Arts in London, where she’s started her masters degree studying TED’s TEN, a program which assists designers in researching textiles and smart materials that have a reduced impact on the environment.

The future through the eyes of Sabina Saga is a future worth looking forward to; and it is the minds of artists like hers that will push the limitations of 3D technology in a direction that will be beneficial to us all. We’re truly excited to see what she comes up with next.

CaX20PDWQAQDyvESabina Saga at London Fashion Week 2016

Since her senior thesis show at FIT, Sabina has exhibited her fashion items all over the world, including Inside 3D Printing New York, The Creative Arts Event in London, and 3D Printing conferences in Dusseldorf. Her next show will be at TechnologyHUB between June 7-9 in Milan, Italy.

 

Prioritize your Personal Self-Expression with 3D Printing

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‘Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.’ – Gianni Versace

Inherently, fashion is a form of self expression that has the ability to show the world who you are without having to say a word. In today’s world, we style ourselves (and our homes) with the clothing, jewelry and goods that are made readily available to us by different brands, be it large or small. Thus far, that’s worked just fine — but what about a world where you are your own brand? Where you decide what gets made, based on your own preference. Is it possible? Is it even realistic?

Overwhelmingly, yes. I envision a future where your personal and aesthetic expression are prioritized over that which is made in mass — and without a doubt believe that 3D printing is the avenue that will help us achieve this future. Why is your self expression important? Below are a few reasons.

It’s sustainable. In traditional retail, a brand will come up with designs that they believe will have consumer appeal, and then manufacture a certain number of those designs based on projections. All too often, those brands will over-manufacture a piece, only to have hundreds (or thousands) wind up sitting a warehouse — which is an effective waste of material, space and labor.

The beauty of creating your own products with 3D printing, is that the only market validation you’ll ever need is your own. Since products are produced as you order them, you have ease of mind that you’re getting exactly what you want, from an environmentally friendly source that you can trust.

It’s infinite freedom. With customization made more accessible, you no longer have to settle for the almost perfect item. Not everyone may want to design their own everything – sometimes, it’s about making custom modifications to the things that are almost what you’re looking for. Perhaps it’s a piece of wall art that would be so great for your room if only it were just a little bit smaller, or in a different color than is available.

The made-to-order nature of 3D printing means there’s infinite possibility to customize products in a way that is true to exactly what you want. Today, we already have powerful tools such as CustomMaker and ShapeJS that make it easy for anyone to make modifications to products they love.

It’s tools like these that begin to pave the way to the wave of the future, where we’ll see more software and hardware applications expanding to a point where you can customize literally any item you could possibly want.

It’s uniquely you. The most important piece of this is you. Today, you can take your passion and wear it close to your heart, literally. Whether you have a love for science, or a love for ravens – it’s all made possible with 3D printing.

We are lucky enough to be living in a world where we are finally liberated from the mass-produced constraints of our predecessors, and it has only just begun. The future will only give way for more opportunities for you to be you.

Three Ways Handmade Jewelry Designers can use 3D Printing

How does digital manufacturing fit into the craft of handmade jewelry? We get asked this question a lot, so we put together three key ways it can speed up your design and production process, save you money and free you up to have more design time (and space).

1. Stock up on popular models. The best part about being a designer is the design process; it’s the ideation, the sketching, and the execution of that new piece of jewelry, getting to bring it into the physical world. That experience is especially fruitful when your design is recognized and wanted by others. However, it can become time-consuming to recreate that same piece over and over again to meet your customers’ needs.

With 3D printing, this process can be made much easier. Now, it’s possible for designers to order the base design of their jewelry pieces, only needing to apply their fine-touch stone setting or polishing techniques in post production. This saves time, and ultimately allows for more space for a designer to explore their creativity and start imagining their next pieces.

2. It requires less studio space. We’ve all been there. You graduate college, or move to a new town, and all of a sudden lose access to the tools and studio space required to keep creating. Or as a new designer you can’t afford to rent space. With 3D printing all you need to get started designing is a computer, software, and (occasionally) an internet connection. Looking for the right software to get started with? We’ve got you covered.

3. Proof of concept for complex prototypes. We all have that one idea that requires ALL the things. Maybe it requires a number of jump rings, chains and highly ornamental pendants. But it’s just a concept, and you’re not totally sure if it would work in real life. Making it in finished materials would not only be expensive, but incredibly time consuming.

Using our innovative prototyping materials, such as strong and flexible plastic, you can create interlocking, chain-like pieces with intricate details and have it 3D printed at a fraction of the cost. This also lets you vett out your designs, understanding all the small tweaks and changes you’d like to make before taking the plunge and investing in the final materials for the piece.

These are just a few ways to start thinking about using 3D printing within your handmade craft. But the ways of utilizing the tools of digital manufacturing are endless, and we can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

The Art of Engineering a 3D Printed Petal Dress: Nervous System defies convention again.

The designers at Nervous System have outdone themselves yet again, this time 3d printing a bright-red dress inspired by flower petals, feathers and scales. The design was created in preparation for the upcoming #Techstyle exhibition at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Kinematics Petal Dress

Nervous System’s newest Kinematics Petal Dress features over 1600 unique facets and 2600 hinges, creating a directional landscape of overlapping, petal-like forms. The petal-like textile appears to behave like fabric, delicately molding itself to the contours of a body.

While this is not the first 3D printed dress created by Nervous System, it is the first of their dresses to utilize a more sophisticated set of textiles. Historically, we have seen the tessellated triangle structures that makes up the 3D printed Kinematic garment. Yet, the new dress features a variety of overlapping plumes protruding from each triangle framework, creating the petal-like textile.

With new textiles, emerged new challenges. Creating each petal shape is not only sculpturally ambitious, but it poses a whole new challenge that demanded the reconsideration of how to actually fit the dress into the build platform of the 3D printer.

The limitations of 3D printing require that each 3D model fit into a specific bounding box, which optimizes for efficiency when printing. With previous dresses, Nervous System had developed software which applies smart-folding techniques to each garment, compressing their size for efficient 3D fabrication, and ultimately unfolds into their intended shape post-printing.

Image courtesy of Nervous System

However, the structural differences of the new petal textile created compression and folding challenges for the team.

“Producing dresses with overlapping scales gave us new challenges and opportunities. Our previous garments had been printed folded to make them efficient to print. But, the overlapping scales don’t fold efficiently. They can really only bend in one direction which prevents us from employing our previous compression strategy.” – Jessica, Nervous System

scaleBend4Image courtesy of Nervous System

“On the other hand, the overlapping nature of the shells makes it possible to have hidden snap-together connections.  This allows for the creation of reconfigurable garments. In the case of our dress, we created a 3-in-1: your dress can be a top, a skirt or a dress.” – Jessica, Nervous System

multipart-768x458Image courtesy of Nervous Systems

Breaking the dress apart into three pieces would only be part of the solution. In order to print the dress as efficiently as possible, the garment needed to be further consolidated into a bounding box that would minimize space utilized in the printer. Since it could not be folded, they developed an entirely new method of collapsing the model: why not roll it up like a carpet?

Image courtesy of Nervous System

After months of prototyping, developing and prep work, the piece was finally ready to send to our selective laser sintering 3D printers in Long Island City.

As you can see, the Kinematic Petal dress is not just another springtime, floral inspired dress. It is a feat of engineering, a work of art, and another breakthrough for the Nervous System collection.

Naturally, the Nervous System team didn’t stop with just the dress. They’ve also created a jewelry line of petal inspired products, which is now available in their shop.

Petal Jewelry

If you’re interested in learning more about the process of creating the dress, check out Nervous System’s Blog and find out more. And if you’re in the Boston area, be sure to stop by the Museum of Fine Arts between March 6  through July 10, 2016 to see the piece in real life.

Click here to follow Nervous System and stay up to date with their newest creations on Shapeways!

3D Printing for Fashion: Interview with Alexis Walsh

Fashion Week may be wrapping up here in New York City, but that doesn’t mean that we’re finished exploring all the great work our fashion-driven community members are producing here at Shapeways. Today, we’ll be exploring the work of Alexis Walsh, a fashion designer turned 3D modeler who designed the LYSIS collection and the Spire Dress, recently featured in the Nire - Hopscotch music video.

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Spire Dress, Designed by Alexis Walsh and Ross Leonardy

Alexis Walsh is a New York tri-state native that studied at Parsons the New School for Design until 2014. During her time at Parson’s, Walsh took a combination of fashion and product design courses. As her primary focus was in fashion, she became interested in exploring ideas about wearable sculptures, and utilizing non-traditional materials and techniques to create fashion items.

“Throughout my academic career, I’ve been interested in the idea of wearable sculpture. I’ve explored using materials like metal and plastic to create garments, even welding a dress out of steel rods and making a corset out of aluminum paneling. All of this was very rooted in the notion of handcraft. After doing some research and discovering that 3D printing allowed for the creation of incredibly complex forms, I decided to pursue it for fashion design. With additive manufacturing, you are enabled to create structures that would be impossible to produce through any other medium, and this seemed like the perfect vehicle to experiment with fashion design.” – Alexis Walsh, 2016

It was around this time that Walsh began to conceptualize The Spire Dress, which was one of the first 3D printed projects that Alexis worked on. The dress was printed at Shapeways in our White Strong and Flexible material, constructed out of 400+ individual tiles that were assembled by hand using metal ring connectors. While this is quite an ambitious project for anyone just getting started in 3D modeling, we asked Alexis about her experience teaching herself the tools of the trade.

“The idea of learning CAD modeling from scratch was definitely intimidating. There are so many programs, and there’s a pretty steep learning curve when first attempting to 3D model. It took countless hours of YouTube video tutorials, trial and error, and reading online troubleshooting forums before feeling comfortable with Rhino and Grasshopper. But once you get a handle on it, you can begin to learn everything fairly quick. You need to simultaneously be concerned with creating a model and with how the model will function as a physical printed object. 3D printing generally involves plastic, which takes some creativity to work into a wearable piece.” – Alexis Walsh, 2016

Realizing the tactile limitations of using only 3D printed plastic, Walsh set out to create her next fashion line, the LYSIS collection. The LYSIS collection features handmade garments that are combined with 3D printed components to give structure to each of the pieces. These works were able to come to life after she received the Shapeways Education Grant in Fall 2014.

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Piece from the LYSIS Collection, 2016

Alexis is certainly not afraid of pushing the limits when it comes to combining materials and techniques to create fashion items. The LYSIS collection was created using a combination of software and hand-touch techniques to apply the fabric and leather. Alexis even went to far as to use the 3Doodler 3D printing pen to apply details to her smaller accessories, such as belts and chokers.

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LYSIS Collection, Alexis Walsh

Alexis is one of the few designers that we’ve seen successfully created an entire collection of fashion items using 3D Printing, and we wanted to hear about her projections for the future of this budding industry are. How will this technology evolve, and what are her hopes for the future?

“3D printing for fashion is undeniably in its early stages. There has already been so much innovation happening within the past couple of years, and this will only further continue into the future. I’m very excited to see how the capabilities of printing textiles will progress, specifically softer and elasticized textiles that behave like fabric. There are enormous possibilities for 3D printing within the performance and athletic-wear industries. It’s been great to see iconic brands like CHANEL embracing 3D printing in their runway shows, and I’m looking forward to seeing more 3D printing in high fashion.” – Alexis Walsh, 2016

And finally, as we mentioned in last week’s blog post, we posed the question to Alexis about her thoughts on the viability for 3D printing as form for fashion manufacturing.

“There’s potential for 3D printing to be a viable method of fashion manufacturing, but I don’t think that the current technology is there yet. There’s a huge market for 3D printed jewelry and accessories right now, and in that regard additive manufacturing is a great method of production. With the way the industry is evolving, fashion is sure to follow suit, as soon as more advanced printing capabilities can be developed.” Alexis Walsh, 2016

On that note, within our conversations with Alexis she teased a few of her upcoming projects that specifically focus on jewelry and accessories. We’re so excited to see what she comes up with next!

Stay tuned for our continuing series of blog posts as we continue to talk with designers about the future of Fashion, Tech + 3D Printing.

 

3D Design & Printing for the Fashion Industry: Interview with Chester Dols

Today we’ll be interviewing  Chester Dols, the 3D modeling mastermind behind Ohne Titel’s 3D printed dress that debuted yesterday at New York Fashion Week.

Chester Dols, a graduate of the Shapeways & Eyebeam Computational Fashion Master Class, is a talented 3D modeler and designer that combines in Rhino, Grasshopper, Maya & python scripts to generate interwoven garments.

unspecifiedChester Dols with his piece at Re-Making Patterns, 2015

Earlier this year, when Shapeways was approached by Ohne Titel + Microsoft with a pitch to create 3D printed garments for their AU16 runway show, we thought to ourselves; who would be a great 3D designer fit for this project? After looking at the initial sketches, we saw stylistic and aesthetic similarities to Chester’s work, and realized he would be perfect fit for the project.

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Final 3D Printed Knit Dress, Photos Courtesy of Ohne Titel 

Within this blog post, we’ll learn about Chet’s journey from architecture to fashion, and what inspired him to take traditional architectural parametric design applications and re-conceptualize those approaches to design for the human body.

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Close up render of Ohne Titel Dress, Photos Courtesy of Ohne Titel

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? What’s your background? Where/when did you get started 3D modeling?

I am an interdisciplinary designer currently based in Brooklyn, NY.  My background and education is in architecture where I used 3D modeling to sketch and communicate my ideas.

What inspired you to begin 3D modeling?

I’m not sure which came first, the practice or the inspiration to practice, but I know that 3d modeling has become a natural part of how I think, sketch, and formulate ideas.

At what point did you learn about computational fashion? How did you find out about it, and what did you find appealing about it?

While studying architecture in college, I had a strong interest in parametric, computational design.  Studio mainly focused on how computation applied to the scale of the building and the building envelop, but I was given the chance through an independent study to think about computation as it applied to the body.  I ended up creating a simple algorithm over a semester which allowed me to create “tailored” clothing based on a series of measured inputs.  The project, I realized later, was an exploration into the basic idea of graded patternmaking, a process used within the fashion industry to streamline sizing and clothing fit.

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 8.59.58 PMParametric textile patterns made by Chet for our Computational Fashion Class

Now that you’ve worked in the “3D Printed Fashion” space for a bit, what are your opinions about field? E.g – What do you think are some of the biggest obstacles for fashion designers moving into the digital space and vice versa?

The process and methodology of fashion is so different to fields which rely heavily on 3d modeling to create and materialize their ideas.  In fashion, you work with fabric, paper, pencil, scissors, and draping tape to design and produce.  Furthermore, fabric isn’t like a nurb surface or polymesh, it has many physical and structural characteristics that affect its performance (ie. knits, wovens, jacquards, cotton, silk, polyester, polyblends, etc.).  I’m not sure if fashion designers or the the additive manufacturing industry has more obstacles.  It may be hard for a fashion designer to jump into a modeling space and create something that is printable, but I think it will be more difficult for 3d printed materials to reach the sophistication of the many different types of textiles already out there.  That being said, there is so many exciting things happening right now and sooner or later I believe these industries and technologies will all converge and create really beautiful things.  For me, designers and engineers experimenting with this kind of technology are the thinkers leading us into tomorrow.

How do you see this field growing in the future? Is there anything you’re looking forward to?

3d printing is still in its infancy and so is the concept of 3d printed textiles.  Like I mentioned before, I’m waiting for industries, technologies, and science to converge.  When we can successfully and seamlessly print with multiple materials, that is when things will get interesting.  Right now, there are printers which print with two materials; take for instance Shapeways’ frosted detail plastic, which prints a wax support material and a polymer resin at the same time.  But what if the second or third material isn’t a support material?  If we can get 3d printers working like a loom, weaving together many materials at once to create a “polyblend” print with complex graded materiality, that’s when a new fashion will emerge.

Do you have any advice for designers looking to dive into this space?

Take inspiration from everything, and look to culture and things that already exist to make new and innovative designs.  My designs look to architectural joints, knits, wovens, and chainmail and I take inspiration from both the natural and synthetic.  Think beyond the form of the body, and really think like a textile designer; consider the touch, the texture, and the performance of your textile and garment.

What are some brands, designers or artists that inspire you?

 Faustine Steinmetz (textile and fashion designer), Jaime Hayon (product designer),  New Territories (architecture), David Altmejd (artist), Walter Van Beirendonck (fashion designer), C-Fabriek (product design), Neri Oxman (architect and thinker), Raf Simons (fashion designer), Vetements (fashion), SuperStudio (architecture), Moebius (illustrator)   …. I could go on and on….

If there were zero limitations for this technology, what would you make?

Ok, so there is this scene in the 5th Element, directed by Luc Besson, where they 3d print Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) from a strand of her DNA taken from the remnants of her hand.   If our technology reaches that point, where we aren’t only printing an object with one material, but objects and subjects with unlimited elements, compounds, and materials, I would totally print a puppy or puppy-cat hybrid or something.  Not sure if I stand by that ethically, but you’re asking a hypothetical.  Crazy thing is, researchers are already doing something similar by printing with stem cells to print functional organs.

 

Ohne Titel and Shapeways bring 3D printing down the runway

Posted by in Fashion

As many of you know, we’ve worked with multiple fashion power houses over the years and this year we’re excited to share runway pieces created with design duo Ohne Titel and sponsored by Microsoft.

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For their Autumn/Winter 2016 collection, Ohne Titel used Shapeways to print chain-like pieces using our Frosted Detail Plastic. Those pieces were layered over black garments to emphasize the links and patterns. They also created 3D panels that were linked together using crochet techniques and 3D printed closures.

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(Courtesy of Ohne Titel)

While a lot of 3D printed fashion is seen as marrying a new technology with an “old” way of making clothes, what Ohne Titel has done really showcases how far the industry has come. By incorporating the art of crochet and knitting with 3D printed parts, they show the juxtaposition between the two techniques, while also proving it’s a match made in fashion heaven.

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Ohne Titel designer, Flora Gill, explains:

“I love the unexpected mix of old-world and futuristic manufacturing. We looked to chainmail structures for inspiration and elongated our “chains” to make a herringbone structure. It’s interesting to work with 3D modelers and the printers to see what is possible. 3D printing in some ways has limitless potential, but it is still very beta. We found many parallels with knitting technologies. In the beginning of our careers, it was usually difficult to computer program intricate knit programs. Now knitting machines are easily programmed and the techniques they create would have been unimaginable 10 years ago. We can’t wait to see what will be possible for knitting and 3D printing in the next 10 years.”

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(Courtesy of Ohne Titel)

Ohne Titel worked with designer Chester Dols – a graduate from our Computational Fashion Master Class with Eyebeam Studios. After designing all their sketches, he 3D modeled the pieces and prepared them for printing. He has a background in architecture and currently collaborates with his sister on the design collective Putain de Beau.

3D printing seems to be the answer to closing the gap between the custom, high-couture pieces we see walking down the runway and the mass manufactured, ready-to-wear pieces in stores across the world. The ability to create custom clothing at a mass manufactured scale has the chance to truly change the fashion industry as we know it, and will continue to close the gap between new technology and traditional manufacturing methods.

3D Printed Fashion: Novelty or reality?

Fashion week has officially arrived here in New York City, and while all the large fashion houses prepare to show off their AW16 lines, Shapeways will be taking the week to focus on the ever-growing trend of 3D printing in fashion.

Over the past two years, and however unintentionally, I’ve been submerged in the world of 3D fashion. It has been a truly unique experience to observe how different corners of fashion utilize this technology. I’ve witnessed a range of use cases: from high-end fashion brands using 3D printers to prototype hardware and jewelry, to experimental tech-hobbyists using software algorithms to knit 3D printable garments. While there has been no shortage of obstacles in each sector, one thing still holds true: people keep pushing the limits.

"Poseiden" a sharkskin biomimicry 3D printed garment

“Poseiden” sharkskin biomimicry 3D printed garment – a project from our annual Computational Fashion master class

But why? Why are people (and corporations) so steadfast in getting involved with this experimental market? The barrier to entry is incredibly high, and traditional fashion manufacturing has worked just fine for us thus far. Is there truly a need for change?

Could it be that including ’3D printing’ in your fashion line is alluring simply because of the novelty factor? Or does this tech actually hold some weight to being a relevant form of fashion manufacturing in the future?

In order to answer this question, we’ll have to take a deep dive into what’s actually going on in the world of computational fashion: Who is making what and why? Over the course of the next week, we will be featuring a number of 3D fashion designers to find out exactly that. Stay tuned!

Fashion Spotlight: Jenny Wu LACE

This is a guest post by Shapeways Community member Jenny Wu.

I received a grant from Shapeways to work on a 3D printing project with another emerging fashion designer, Jordana Howard of Echo and Air. The initial concept for the project was rather simple, but the execution of the project opened up a world of possibilities. I realized the project was going to be a pursuit that I will be working on for quite a long time. A bit of my background, I am an architect and partner at the Los Angeles based firm, Oyler Wu Collaborative.

LACE

photo courtesy of LACE

A few years ago, I saw a void within the 3D printed fashion market that I thought I could fill. Most 3D printed fashion falls into two categories: the ultra avant-garde, iconic couture pieces that have graced various well known fashion runways to pieces designed by DYI makers who are exploring 3D printing technology. My collection positions itself somewhere in between, creating high end pieces that are highly wearable (literally comfortable to wear) but bring forth innovative design that utilizes my background in digital modeling to exploit 3D printing technology to its fullest. Last Fall, I launched a line of ready-to-wear 3D printed jewelry collection called LACE by Jenny Wu and have received overwhelmingly positive responses from both the tech and fashion world.

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Recently, much of the advancement in 3D printed fashion has been focused on creating entirely 3D printed clothing, shoes to accessories. For the grant, I was interested in merging 3D printing with conventional methods of fashion making. Similar to my own research in architecture, our office has develop new techniques of working with both digital fabrication with conventional wood or steel fabrication to create work that cannot be done solely based on one expertise. I approached Jordana Howard, a fashion designer based in Los Angeles, for this collaboration because of her interest in unconventional assembly and details in fashion. We have been working back and forth in understanding how to develop new details in combining these two very different ways of working to create a piece of clothing. The first piece is still in its nascency. We started by patterning a conventional piece of clothing and then looked at how fabric could weave into the 3D printed elements so that they become one cohesive garment. Over the past few months, we have had to understand the different technologies and methods to understand how to create something innovative. In the coming months, we hope to put some of these efforts into the details of a ready-to-wear garment that will inspire new ways of thinking about 3D printing in fashion.

Keep up with new LACE designs on their instagram feed.