When I first began covering the 3D printing space a little under a year ago, I honestly did not think that the technology would make much of an inroad into the fashion design industry. Fashion is always changing though, and to my surprise, 3D printing has really begun to catch on as a way for designers to create outfits, accessories, and even complete dresses using a technology previously delegated to prototyping hardware and industrial parts.
What a difference a year makes! At CES this week, 3D printing will have a strong presence. One company that has really made a name for themselves within the 3D printing industry in the past year is Airwolf 3D, and they will be on hand (booth #72334 – Sands) to present some really sexy innovations, which include their new HD-R 3D printer.
While a new 3D printer is always quite sexy in a figurative sense, Airwolf 3D will also be presenting a little bit of sexy in a literal sense. On hand at their booth will be “Sandy the Materials Girl,” outfitted with a 3D printed dress, fashion accessories, and more. What makes Sandy so unique is the fact that her entire outfit has been 3D printed on Airwolf 3D printers, as a bit of a marketing ploy which Airwolf 3D hopes will garner them global attention at this year’s CES.
“The big question we posed to the Wolfpack was, ‘how do we stand out from the pack?’ The Wolfpack came up with the idea to 3D print an entire outfit, with incredibly long printed parts and showcase various material along the way,” explained Airwolf 3D. “That is how ‘Sandy in CES 2015’ was born. Our very own 3D printer girl, Sandy from Southern California was thrilled at the opportunity to see her custom-fit outfit come to life at Airwolf 3D.”
It’s not just the dress — Sandy’s entire outfit has been 3D printed. As for the dress though, it is called the A.X.I.O.S. Dress, which stands for “Advanced Xtreem Integrated Operating Scales.” It is made of an armor-like pattern created by designer Cameron Williams back in April 2014. Using SOLIDWORKS, Williams has modified this pattern slightly, to make it more appropriate for a dress design. It is 3D printed using about $78 worth of ABS, Wolfbend TPU, and TPE materials, and was designed and printed to be a perfect fit for Sandy’s body.
“The dress is more comfortable than I imagined, it even makes music when I move,” said Sandy.
After designing Sandy’s dress, Williams continued with his theme, and moved on to create what he calls the “SoCal Wristlet.” A purse which features the same hexagonal pattern as his AXIOS dress but in smaller individual links, the SoCal Wristlet is printed with ABS, Wolfbend TPU, and TPE as well. It is large enough to hold all of Sandy’s necessities, but comfortable and light enough to carry with her all day long.
Sandy’s other accessories include 3D printed earrings which were designed by Tyler Caros, who printed them using colorFabb’s copperFill filament. After being printed, Caros sanded the pieces down, prior to dipping them in hot water in order to soften them up a bit. He then proceeded to mold each part until a curve was formed, leaving an elegant earring design which features three of these overlaying curved shapes.
Caros wasn’t finished there though, as he then used stainless steelFill to create a shimmering necklace for Sandy’s outfit, followed by a copperFill printed bracelet, and copperFill sunglass frames, which include steelFill accents.
Moving on from the metal-like filaments, Caros decided to 3D print a polycarbonate and nylon headband using black polycarbonate for the band, and bridge nylon for the ornament. Both of these filaments are currently offered by Airwolf 3D on their website. The nylon was then dyed red in order to match Sandy’s dress.
Another designer, named Jowell Randall, was tasked with creating some of Sandy’s other accessories. He was responsible for the 3D printed emerald lipstick case, which was printed using green t-glase filament by taulman3D. T-glase is composed of FDA-approved polymers, ensuring that there will be no issues with it coming in contact with Sandy’s lipstick. He then created a leather-like iPhone case which was actually printed using LAYWOO-D3 wood filament.
No outfit is complete without a sexy pair of shoes. In Sandy’s case, she was provided with what designer ‘Miles’ calls “hex-heel sexy wedges,” which were 3D printed in black and red PLA plastic, also featuring the same hexagonal pattern as Sandy’s dress and purse.
Now, the outfit was complete, leaving Sandy in futuristic (James) Bond Girl-like attire, and as an added bonus, Randall decided to utilize the incredible properties of PET filament in order to 3D print the “Sandy Martini Glass.” PET was perfect for this project as it does not absorb water like nylon, and like the t-glase is FDA approved for contact with food. The glass was designed with a hollow hourglass stem which features sand that was poured into it midway through the print job. This isn’t just any ordinary sand though. It was imported from Isla Mujeres in Cancún, Mexico, and is known for its mystical feminine rejuvenating properties.
I know that the Airwolf 3D booth will be one of my first stops at CES this year, so that I can check out Sandy’s incredibly unique outfit, all made possible by Airwolf 3D’s 3D printers. The company prides themselves on creating machines with hotends capable of printing in a multitude of materials. In fact, Sandy’s outfit was printed using over 25 different printed materials.
If you have a chance to visit the Airwolf 3D booth at CES, be sure to grab your “I Saw Sandy” sticker, and wear it throughout the event, as Sandy will be selecting 200 winners to receive an autographed poster of herself, an Airwolf 3D t-shirt (Wolfpack Members Only Edition), a selfie with herself, and a $900 gift certificate for one lucky attendee.
What do you think about Sandy’s outfit? Did you have any idea that all of this could be fabricated on an Airwolf 3D printer? Discuss in the 3D Printed Outfit forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out some more photos below.