Stratasys announced a fascinating set of 3D printed dresses that use unique methods that could attract more designers to their services.
Stratasys worked with two notable fashion designers, threeASFOUR and Travis Fitch to develop a pair of startling 3D printed dresses, the Pangolin and the Harmonograph. We’ve seen some pretty amazing fashion designs in our travels through the world of 3D printing, but these designs must surely be the most advanced yet.
The dresses are produced on Stratasys’ Objet500 Connex3 multi-material device, which permits on-the-fly mixing of up to three different materials. In the dress examples, they have chosen not to mix colors so much, but instead focus on the mechanical properties of the materials.
In other words, they developed designs that employed solid, flexible and mixed components in very complex chain-mail style arrangements to simulate the properties of fabrics.
Here you can see a detail view of the a portion of the design, with sophisticated linkages that enable movements in multiple directions. It’s a bit easier to understand if you watch their associated video:
Also note in the video by Stratasys is a call to fashion designers to try out their technology, which they now believe is suitable for development of entirely new ranges of fashion products using these techniques.
But there’s also a near-secret here, in that these prints used a previously unannounced new material for the Connex3: “a special nano enhanced elastomeric 3D printing material, commercially available later in 2016”.
New design approaches, new materials just might pique the interest of additional designers seeking new outlets for their fashion ideas.
However, regardless of the number of new designs that may appear as a result of this development, it is still highly unlikely these works will ever work their way into conventional society, as the cost of the prints, particularly at this size, is still astronomical for most people. We’ll likely see this style of fashion on the runways, but not at the neighborhood shop for many years.