Here Comes the Bride: Stratasys 3DFashion Technology Used to Print Wedding Dresses

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Last year, Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS) launched its J850 TechStyle 3D printer, powered by advanced 3DFashion technology that enables full color direct-to-textile printing and adhesion on several types of fabric. The solution has been used to 3D print everything from vehicle interiors to shoes, accessories, and clothing—now including wedding dresses. Israel-based haute couture wedding dress designer Ada Hefetz creates bespoke gowns for brides on their big day, and recently showed three dresses at Milan Design Week that were created with Stratasys and its transformative 3DFashion solution.

Hefetz typically combines classic modern chic with vintage in her dress designs, and is described as a designer who likes to push the boundaries of what’s possible in wedding dress design. So it’s no wonder that she was interested in 3D printing wedding gowns. The three intricately detailed dresses in her new collection—part of her series that celebrates the circle of life and matrimonial union—are the first project the designer has completed using 3D printing.

3D printing has allowed Hefetz to digitally create complex geometrical shapes which she says would not otherwise be possible. Photo credit: Stav Peretz

“During the COVID pandemic, I closed my studio and used the time to innovate. I wanted to pursue 3D printing and the design opportunities it opens up, and having spoken to a few specialized designers, Stratasys’ TechStyle printer came highly recommended,” Hefetz explained. “I’m so pleased with the results so far and the designs it has enabled that I am planning to use this for all of my future collections.”

Hefetz gets inspiration for her bridal gowns from a variety of sources, including embroidered maps, mirrors, pieces of jewelry, and blooming flowers. The 3D printed wedding dresses, with their complex, beautiful geometric shapes, are based on the designer’s Flower of Life theme, which is described as a “sacred geometry” that dates all the way back to the time of ancient Egypt.

“The holy ‘Flower of Life’ geometry, a symbol of the union between male holiness and female divinity, can be found in numerous cultures across the world that contain ancient knowledge about our position among the cosmos.”

“This sacred geometry holds the key to a higher consciousness and each garment carries not just a style statement but also something much deeper – wisdom from centuries past.”

The pattern in the gowns is made up of overlapping circles, which intersect to make up flowers; Hefetz has combined these flowers with her lily design in order to symbolize both the circle of life and the matrimonial union between two people.

“I wouldn’t be able to achieve such complicated geometric designs without the Stratasys 3DFashion technology, as attaining this level of symmetry by hand would simply be impossible. The 3D printer allows me to digitally create new forms using mathematical formulas, and print these directly onto the fabric, ensuring the pattern is replicated perfectly,” Hefetz said.

Hefetz used translucent VeroVivid resin by Stratasys to print her dresses on the company’s J850 TechStyle 3D printer. The material is capable of creating over 500,000 different colors, and unlimited tints, which enables the simulation of countless finishes and textures. When paired with the J850 TechStyle and 3DFashion technology, it’s an unbeatable combination for the world of fashion—an industry in which Stratasys has been interested for quite some time.

“The J850 TechStyle’s unique capabilities in color, transparency and tonality created a pearl-like shimmering effect, which helped Ada to achieve a perfect color combination for her vision,” said Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director of Art, Design and Fashion at Stratasys.

The three unique dresses were produced using Stratasys’ 3DFashion technology via the J850 TechStyle 3D printer and are based on Hefetz’s Flower of Life theme. Photo credit: Stav Peretz

Kaempfer also says that 3DFashion allows designers to use algorithmic designs, which is clearly something Hefetz took advantage of for her 3D printed wedding gowns. Additionally, the technology enables the production of unique designs much more quickly, and for less cost, which opens designers up to more creativity in their pieces that they couldn’t achieve with hand stitching or even CNC techniques.

It’s not just that this Stratasys solution makes it possible to create uniquely beautiful gowns—the bridal gown market is ripe for innovation. According to a new report by Zion Market Research, which covers recognizable bridal industry names like Elie Saab, Louis Vuitton, Kleinfeld Bridal Corp., Zuhair Murad, and others, the “Global Bridal Gowns Market” was valued at about $44.2 billion in 2022, and is estimated to grow to $73.2 billion by the year 2030, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of roughly 6.5%. That’s a significant chunk of change, and 3D printing could get a piece of that pie by replacing the traditional methods of wedding gown craftsmanship.

Visitors can see Ada Hefetz’s 3D printed wedding dresses at the D-House Urban Laboratory in Milan, owned and managed by leading high-end fashion manufacturer Dyloan and established as a hub for responsible innovation with an advanced approach to sustainability, R&D, and the use of new technologies…like 3DFashion by Stratasys.

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