Home>Membership

Article

Can 3D Printed Dress be Customized in Future?

From:Date:2015/04/17 09:08:31

When thinking of 3D printing, we may think of solid articles which are dead and immovable. Have you ever thought they may be as light and flexible as garment? Nervous System design office has created a novel process flow which enables 3D printed garment and adornment to move and swing like real cloth. The customized software behind is Kinematics; it combines the paper folding skill with 3D printing in a novel mode, and then improves the limit of such technology.

Different from the cloth-sewed garment, Kinematics will firstly form a 3D model in CAD program, and then disassemble this model into tesselated triangle segments in various sizes. The designer can not only control the size, arrangement and quantity of these triangle segments, but also preview the effect of change on the garment. Once the designer is satisfied, the algorithm will combine triangle segments into an integrity, and then compress this design into the minimum shape as possible so as to be convenient for the printing process. Generally, its volume will be reduced by 85%.

After printing, a piece of 3D printed garment is created. Technical personnel treats the garment just like an archaeologist. Plastic parts will be cleaned and dyed, finally forming the dress made of tiny chained plastic bricks as shown in the figure below.

No stunt in process

The designer Jessica Rosenkrantz guarantees that this dress is not simply a trick; its buttons also conform to the triangle segments to make dressing easier. Other 3D garment may remind people of a suit of armor, but this dress may waves along with the walking and turning of the model.

Comfort degree is a critical assessment. In order to capture the design feature, Rosenkrantz has ever tried the 3D jewelry one by one for weeks, even resulting in abrasion of skin. She gradually creates her costumes, from bracelet, waist belt, then bodice and finally dress. Though Rosenkrantz has brought old-fashioned tailoring method in this project, she also feels very happy to utilize modern technology. 3D scanning of model body can ensure a perfect fit of the garment. Recently, her garments and Github resource library are collected by the Museum of Modern Art.

Bring into effectiveness

At the first, Kinematics is developed by Nervous System as a part of certain project of Google to add new content to the promotion of a type of Android cellphone. However, Nervous System quickly finds the method to design and print out articles (like bracelet) through reducing the size, and the printed articles can be folded just like paper folding. After this activity, Nervous System holds that this conception may be used for garments.

Finally, they spend one year on trying and making, and each amplification of design, from wrist wear to short skirt, will generate special challenge. Only the hinge connecting the triangle segments is small enough can the cloth hike up. It also must be firm enough to avoid accidental exposure.

All 3D printed parts will have a wood-like texture, and harder parts may be generated in certain direction, this makes garment printing quite difficult. The solution is to improve the software. Rosenkrantz says: "we can work out design related matters under the premise of not printing anything, and can clearly know the effect of finished product." The printing of waist belt consists of the initial 77 hinges turns out to be perfect. But to print 700 or even more hinges, more difficulties are to be conquered.

At the first, the simulator will fold the garment into ball. Rosenkrantz says: "this is just like to crush up a garment and put it into a basket. It may seem cool, but not the most efficient mode." Therefore, Rosenkrantz develops an impact-based simulator which can fold the garment and put it into drawer.

This project boosts the design, fashion and manufacturing industries in an amazing mode, to which, Rosenkrantz expresses: "folding them into 3D printing structure through such a crazy compress mode just sounds like a science fiction. To tell the truth, when you have engaged in complex work in a numeral word for long time, the biggest surprise is the change from compression to fit, and then to spatial tailoring and its activity condition. Actually, everything is under expected operation."

Nevertheless, printing technology still requires special development, and Nervous System needs to develop new tool to load their software. Nanometer microtechnic, if adopted for design, can improve the fineness and accuracy of printing.

Ready to wear?

Next, Nervous System will improve the speed and add new mechanical device and structure, and this may enable them to simulate other different materials such as stout tweed cloth or thin silk.

At present, the value of their printed garment is USD 3000/piece, which seems not ready for commercialization. Rosenkrantz says: "it is a quite high price, though much lower than the price of other 3D printed garment. Thus, we hope to lower the price before starting the sale of finished cloth."