The 3D printing world has many facets, and at 3DPrint.com, we try to give you an insider’s look at as many of them as possible. This week we had A Few Questions For designer Anna Karpman, who uses 3D printing to create stunning fashion pieces, the latest of which is a pair of boots with dramatic 3D printed stiletto heels. In this week’s interview feature, we’re excited to share with you Karpman’s thoughts on her latest work, as well as what’s next for this talented artist.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration for these boots all started when I came across this article of a woman stabbing her lover to death with $1500 stilettos as a defense mechanism. I was so intrigued by the concept of stiletto as weapon that I started doing further historical research on weaponry. I went all the way back to Ancient Egypt and looked at khopesh knives to 17th century ottoman sultans and the opulent knives and weapons that were created during that era. I was also inspired by Hideki Kamiya’s Bayonetta. Generally, I’d say a majority of my work is inspired by 90s futurism though.
I come from a fashion background and started using Rhino and SOLIDWORKS about 2 years ago as it completely opened new possibilities for me in my design process. With the incorporation of 3D modeling + printing, I can further push my designs with this kind of technology. I use Rhino most frequently, and utilized the T-Splines plug-in for these boots as well as 3D scanning.
I used a MakerBot Replicator 2 and printed in Acrylic, then chrome plated in 24k gold. It took about 16 hours for the heel to print. I would say I love 3D-printing in metal and resin the most. My 3D printed chess piece as perfume bottle printed in Gold Polished Stainless Steel (which I worked with via Shapeways) and the body of the piece is printed Translucent Resin (which I worked with via Sculpteo). I also printed mouth grillz and a pill pendant in 14k gold.
I’d say I do a lot of research before starting a project, sketch a little bit but really love freestyling on the program and seeing how it evolves in its digital 3D form. I really think and draw in 3D and find 2D to be mundane and limiting so this works for me.
With the use of 3D printing in my work, I manifest more of my visions into 3D form and reality as I am really a 3D thinker. Also coming from a background of fashion design with my adopted love for product + industrial design, it allows me to shake up the pre-existing aesthetic that 3D printed wearables already have through what’s been done. I always enjoy watching the audience puzzled, as one wouldn’t off the bat guess that those components were in fact 3D printed.
Tell us a bit about yourself – what’s next and what are you working on now?
I am a NYC-based fashion tech designer and an alumna of Parsons School of Design. Coming from a fashion background, I’ve always enjoyed working exclusively with natural elements such as leather. The use of 3D printing excites me because I am currently furthering my work in bringing together more leather and tech components to create a love affair between fashion and tech. Everything is half 3D printed/half leather. These 3D printed components will range from resin, metal, wood and I plan to move into 3D textile design as well.