When most people think of 3D printing, one of the last things they probably imagine it being used for is the creation of fashion accessories and clothing, especially when using consumer level 3D printers. These printers typically print using plastic-like materials, which couldn’t possibly be comfortable, right?
One design studio, XYZ Workshop has taken 3D printing and has gone wild with it, in the creation of clothing and fashion accessories. Ever since they purchased an Ultimaker kit back in May of last year, the company has been creating new unique designs, and then fabricating them in studio. They currently run multiple 3D printers at once in order to print out designs which they come up with.
Today, XYZ Workshop, along with Ultimaker, have announced the release of their ‘Fashion Suite‘. It is now available on 3D design repository, YouMagine, and features several different designs. These include a flexible watch, a women’s clutch, a men’s wallet, and an incredibly unique inBloom dress.
It won’t end there though. XYZ Workshop plans to release yet more fashion items in the near future, for both men and women alike.
In order to create fashionable, yet comfortable products, XYZ Workshop utilizes Ultimaker 2 3D printers, combined with flexible filaments, which provide a better solution than the more rigid PLA and ABS filaments do. The inBloom dress uses flexible filament to bend with the body, in a way that traditional fabric would. It debuted at the 3D Printshow in New York, this past February. At the time, it was the longest completely 3D printed dress, measuring in at 213cm. It is made up of 191 individually 3D printed panels, and took a whopping 450 hours, and approximately $103.50 worth (1.7kg) of flexible PLA filament to create it.
“We wanted to make a 100% desktop 3D printed piece to showcase that 3D printed fashion was not exclusive to large, expensive industrial 3D printers. The Fashion Suite, including the inBloom Dress is released as an open source package. In order for us as a community to advance 3D printable fashion, we believe we can help stimulate and encourage experimentation by publicly providing the design files.”
XYZ Workshop has a background in architecture, which they find has helped them tremendously in the 3D printing of fashion items. “The ‘fabric’, much like the ‘skin’ of a building defines the space it inhabits around the user; creating a personal micro climate,” says the company. “Fashion-like architecture evokes the user’s senses of self-expression, culture, pride, comfort, and status.”
While traditionally you don’t compare fashion and architecture, when you add 3D printing into the mix, they do become more similar. Both trades require 3D modeling to form a result that is then constructed. 3D modeling for 3D printing is more similar to that of 3D modeling of architectural buildings than that of fabric based clothing.
“I can see how 3D printing can be of a great influence in the fashion industry,” explained Ultimaker CEO, Siert Wijnia. “Within this industry there is a huge desire for customization and setting yourself apart from everything else. That is exactly what 3D printing is good at. Through digital fabrication it enables shorter processing times for a designer and 3D printing gives them the freedom and flexibility to produce things in smaller quantities and continue to design new work while the printer does all the work! What makes this dress stand apart from other 3D printed fashion is that it actually looks delicate and lace like with qualities of movement. We can’t wait to see how other people will push the limits with a desktop 3D printer, especially with the use of Flexible PLA.”
XYZ Workshop has released these files with hopes that other “makers” take the ideas, and begin pushing the boundaries of personal 3D printing and 3D fashion. It should be interesting to see what comes next from XYZ Workshop and Ultimaker. Could we finally be starting to see an influx of 3D printing into the fashion industry? It may just be possible after all.
What do you think? Will companies like Ultimaker, XYZ Workshop and others lead the way to 3D printable fashion that can be done at home on consumer level 3D printers? Discuss in the XYZ WorkShop / Ultimaker 3D Printable Fashion forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video of XYZ Workshop explaining more details of their operations below: