AMS Spring 2023

Growing Belt Buckles with 3D Printing

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The world of fashion design has enthusiastically embraced the possibilities presented through increased access to 3D printing technologies. We have seen everything from conceptual designs for machines that will recycle old clothing into a new 3D printed wardrobe to the creation of fabric and jewelry using existing 3D printing technology. The latest addition to the 3D printed sartorial scene is Studio MHOX, which has worked to produce an innovative and intriguing belt buckle for Scunzani, a star in crocodile belt making in Italy.

04_mhox_scunzani_belt_bucklesThe inspiration for the forms of the buckles comes from the methods by which designs are produced in 3D combined with the self-generating and continually mutating forms of generation found in the natural world. The result is a fibrous, root/vine aesthetic combining the immeasurably old with the continually new. MHOX not only designed the buckles, they also tailored the software to their particular needs in order to generate the buckle types. This pinpointed workflow generated hundreds of members of the buckle population, of which MHOX chose twenty to be brought into being through 3D printing.

PrintThe sinuous curves and delicate piercings are varied in a way that mimics the individual art produced by skilled craftsmen of the turn of the 19th century, but are the product of cutting edge technology and the inherent possibilities for customization present in 3D printing. Each piece is a combination of the aesthetics of driftwood and birds’ nests, forms that are created based on the connections of a series of irregular parts into a wholly natural connection. That ‘necessity’ of interrelation between parts creates a serenity to the pieces that effectively sells them as more than just something created because it could be.diagram [Converted]

When it came to the production of these belts, the designers at Studio MHOX turned to CRP Group to apply their expertise. CRP Group, based in Modena, Italy, specializes in the production of geometrically complex objects such as the buckles. Their experience comes from having worked to produce for industries such as aerospace and motor sports where precision and innovation are held to exacting standards.

Orthotics produced through collaboration by Studio MHOX and CRP Group

Orthotics produced through collaboration by Studio MHOX and CRP Group

CRP used Windform additive manufacturing materials to create strong prints through laser sintering. Specifically, the Windform XT 2.0, a polyamide-based, carbon filled material was utilized in the creation of these buckles. This material is known for its stiffness, lightness, and high degree of strength, all combined with astoundingly high levels of dimensional accuracy. This meant that it was perfect for such a closely tailored, customized creation such as these belt buckles.

This is not the first collaboration between Studio MHOX and CRP Group. They have worked together previously in the creation of personalized 3D printed orthotics and a variety of other more conceptual projects.

Would you like one of these belt buckles? Let us know what you think of the design, and this application for 3D printing, in the 3D Printed Buckles for Scunzani Belts forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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