Revealing Dita Von Teese in a Fully Articulated 3D Printed Gown

Dita Von Teese in Shapeways 3D Printed Gown

Last night at the Ace Hotel in New York to a crowd of uber-cool fashonistas and paparazzi we revealed the 3D printed gown designed by Michael Schmidt and Francis Bitonti modeled by queen of burlesque Dita Von Teese

Dita Von Teese in Shapeways 3D printed gown

The fully articulated gown based on the Fibonacci sequence was designed by Michael Schmidt and 3D modeled by architect Francis Bitonti to be 3D printed in Nylon by Shapeways.  The gown was assembled from 17 pieces, dyed black, lacquered and adorned with over 13,000 Swarovski crystals to create a sensual flowing form.

3D printed gown detail on Shapeways

Thousands of unique components were 3D printed in a flowing mesh designed exactly to fit Dita’s body.  This represents the possibility to 3D print complex, customized fabric like garments designed exactly to meet a specific person or need.  As we see the material properties of 3D printing mature to produce more fine, flexible materials we will see more and more forays into fashion such as this.  At first it is at the boundaries of haute couture and art but as we have seen with Nike using 3D printing in footwear, we will see more and more 3D printing creep into the world of clothing and fashion until it becomes ubiquitous. 

3D Printed Fashion Dita Von Teese

blondie, dita von teese, michael schmidt, 3D pritned dress

We would like to extend a massive thanks to the entire team at the Ace Hotel in New York for organizing the collaboration and an amazing event. It is these collaborations between designers and 3D modeling specialists that push the boundaries of what is possible with 3D printing.  

At Shapeways we receive a constant stream of inquiries from artists, designers and advertising agencies from around the world looking to connect with 3D modeling experts to help them bring their ideas to reality with 3D printing.  If you are a 3D modeling expert interested in helping others realize their ideas with 3D printing, post your availability in the 3D modelers for hire thread in the Shapeways forums and you may be the next 3D modeling craftsperson blinking into the flashing lights of the paparazzi on stage.

Thanks again to the Ace Hotel, Michael Schmidt, Francis Bitonti, Dita Von Teese and the entire Shapeways team that made this possible. 

Thanks to the Ace Hotel and Albert Sanchez for images.

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  1. Henry Segerman

    Beautiful use of technology, beautiful result, but I must comment on the golden ratio nonsense.

    There is no evidence that people can visually distinguish a rectangle with proportions of the golden ratio from other nearby numbers, such as 1.59 or 1.62. There is also no proposed mechanism for why it should be that the golden ratio, (sqrt(5)+1)/2, should be aesthetically pleasing, and there never has been.

    Here is a good article debunking just some of the golden ratio mysticism:

    In particular, it discusses how the golden ratio does not show up in the Great Pyramid, the Parthenon, the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci and the human body, nor is it perceived to be the most aesthetically pleasing.

    The golden ratio does not appear in natural Nautilus shells. The only Nautilus shell that does have anything to do with the golden ratio was 3d printed by George Hart:

    There is some connection between the golden ratio and the positioning of petals in flowers, but all of the other supposed connections, Nautilus shells, galaxies and storms are all nonsense.

  2. Aaron Trocola

    Dita and the dress look amazing! We would all think so, even if the press, celebrities, the internet, and the God of Math didn’t tell us so. Thanks and congratulations to Bitonti, Schmidt and Von Teese on this well executed project.

  3. bas

    I think it is an ugly dress, and this is surely not the first dress ever print. Designer Iris van Herpen 3D prints dresses already for a few years and they are much more interesting

  4. Michiel Cornelissen

    I second the comment about the golden ratio; and even if it did mean something, I don’t really see what this dress has to do with it. I also know Iris van Herpen (and Janne Kyttanen way before that) have worked on 3d-printed dresses.

    I just think that this particular dress looks awesome, and is amazingly designed in both overall form and the detailing of the hinged connections.

  5. Pardeep

    This does look good. It does! Cool.

    But, I fail to find real connection between artsy “golden ratio” explanation in that video …to what I am seeing here.
    I surely see what “digital guy” did here. Awesome work on patterning and contouring etc…. probably over 3D body scan. (Is this grasshopper work?)
    But… what did the fashion designer do? He did that sketch? Well… golden ratio on that sketch doesn’t really translate into this. I would like to know more about real design process on this… which was digital work to construct this. Sketch doesn’t = “design”. There’s more to “design” that that. But that is fashion industry, guys!

    And Swarovski?… just there to bling it up? Not needed at all. Luckily, you can barely see any of that in that main photo – which is why this looks pretty good.

    Also, what does “articulated” means in this context? Can somebody explain? Certainly not first 3d printed gown ever. Not even close.

  6. Jade Barbee

    Michael and team, Thank you for creating such a beautiful and inspiring work of art. The way you mapped the spiraling to harmonize with her body is breathtaking. I really should have known it was yours the moment I saw it! Lovely to see you doing such gratifying work. It’s phenomenal precisely because it is so inspired and meticulously executed. I love it.

  7. Kaz Maslanka

    *The dress is beautiful* – but the golden ratio hype is nonsense just like Henry mentioned above. If seashells followed the golden ratio exactly then every seashell would be exactly the same. – they are not – The golden ratio, when applied to nature, is an approximation of something much more complex and mysterious. Furthermore the aesthetic of the golden ratio is cerebral not visual. The beauty in this dress has more to do with the brunette than it does the golden ratio.

  8. Bruce

    The dress is fine, but I would prefer to see her with that dress on my bedroom floor.

  9. Tat

    It’s a really nice dress, but I didn’t see a picture of her walking and moving in it. So I wonder whether this is possible or not, in the pictures she’s just standing like a statue.

    1. Duann

      Hey Tat,

      Yes she could move as the gown really moved with her body. The only risk was getting her massive spike heels caught in the mesh.

  10. TriodeGirl

    Super dress, I want one (in red please) 🙂

    Golden ratio stuff is patently nonsense as it is a crude approximation to the structure of harmonic relationships, i.e. the fundamental to it’s 2nd, 3rd etc. harmonics. These do exist as we listen to them in our music.

    Interestingly whilst too much odd order i.e. 3rd, 5th etc. harmonics in sound is unpleasant, in physical proportions 3rd and 5th harmonics are visually pleasing.

    Of course the even tempered music scale is a western thing, and there are other scales in eastern music. Perhaps that explains some of the very distinctive style difference that can be seen between the two?

  11. Andrew Michael

    So is there any video of her actually walking in it? There only seem to be stills on the ‘net.

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