New York Fashion Week Sees 3D Printed Fashion
3D Printing Fashion
3D printing seems to be tailor-fit for the fashion industry. Not only are 3D Printers and materials lending themselves to producing one-off creations, the level of detail and intricacy possible with 3D Printing and materials makes it possible for designers to explore new patterns, designs and treatments that were previously unavailable on more traditional fabrics and materials.
3D printing and fashion is going mainstream
A recent premiere of two unique 3D printed dresses by breakthrough fashion designers threeASFOUR and Travis Fitch together with Stratasys at New York Fashion Week previewed a new exciting reality in fashion and design. Both dresses - ‘Pangolin’ and ‘Harmonograph’ - form part of threeASFOUR’s highly anticipated ‘Biomimicry’ collection and were produced with Stratasys’ unique multi-material, multi-color Connex3 3D printing.
A nano enhanced elastomeric 3D printing material, commercially available later in 2016, gave the dresses both durability and flexibility – redefining what is possible in design, art, fashion and many other industries including education, consumer goods, consumer electronics, and medical devices.
“This 3D printing allows us to create a new textile that does not exist. Especially on the Pangolin 3D printed dress, it’s about a chainmail type of textile where each unit is functioning by itself and it creates a four dimensional stretch – up and down, left and right, forwards and backwards. The most advanced textile prior to this was Lycra which is a 4-way stretch. So this is a whole new type of movement,” explained Gabi Asfour, threeASFOUR.
Copying nature’s geometries and surroundings
The threeASFOUR designers, Gabi Asfour, Angela Donhauser, and Adi Gil, have continued to reflect the natural geometries of their surroundings in these latest works. Both 3D printed dresses explore the way in which biological forms and natural morphologies can be replicated in a fashion context with 3D printing.
“Our mission with 3D printing is to encourage designers to imagine without boundaries, empowering them to create avant-garde expressions of fashion. On a larger scale, we want to change the way people think about design and to redefine what is possible,” said Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director, Art Fashion Design at Stratasys. “Collaborative projects with talented and visionary designers, such as threeASFOUR, are the ideal way to showcase to aspiring designers, students and creatives the types of organic and complex mathematical structures that can become a physical reality with 3D printing.”
The Harmonograph 3D printed dress circles around the body in three spirals, following the geometry of the Fibonacci sequence and optically portraying the effect of a harmonograph. Combining geometry, biology and logarithms, Gil explains that the designs were entirely dependent on the new possibilities that Stratasys multi-color, multi-material 3D printing is able to provide: “The entire design from its initial conception was intended to maximize the potentials inherent to Stratasys’s Connex3 3D printing
technology. The interwoven nature of the geometry could not be produced in a traditional manner, and it was critical to us that the design should evoke a language unique to 3D printing.
How 3D Printing combines fabric, pattern and sewing
“You can create the actual final vision from the beginning. When you are working with tradition pattern making, you separate fabric from pattern from sewing. Here with 3D printing they are all combined together,” added Gabi Asfour, threeASFOUR.
The second 3D printed fashion piece from Stratasys and threeASFOUR unveiled during New York Fashion Week, the Pangolin 3D printed dress, is derived from a signature threeASFOUR design comprised of 14 pattern pieces.
In this new 3D printed version, an overall skin is created by mixing a variety of interlocking weaves, biomimicking natural animal textures. The Objet Connex3 3D Printer’s precision and ability to vary material properties such as rigidity and color gradation, provided the designers with the geometric control to create nuanced, deliberately placed transformations in the membrane’s porosity and flexibility. This also allowed threeASFOUR to produce alternating states of transparency and privacy, while accommodating the movement demands of the human body.