Imagine your fingernails sporting polka dots. Okay, that’s fun. Now, think a plush, textured blue fingernail with a spiral design in the middle that makes you want touch it just to see if it feels as cushy as it looks. And then to take off into the avant-garde world, imagine a colorful fish perched on top of that, or perhaps an origami-inspired bird, perpetually looking as if it is about to take flight from your colorful fingertips.
Many women are still raving about the convenient new technology allowing for the wonderful shellac manicure which dries quickly and takes weeks to chip — almost like painting on a plastic nail. As one enthusiastic member of that club, I simply can’t resist almost trying to chip a nail just to see if it’s possible and what it takes, after receiving such emphatic assurances from every manicurist that really, it’s safe to take my keys out of my purse and use my credit card to pay — and to leave, taking all my questions with me.
Classic ‘fake’ nails have been around forever as well, with numerous variations from stick-on adhesives from the drug store to the more high-maintenance kind that keep one running and back and forth to the nail salon every time there is a lost nail or a break. That all seems pretty basic and bleak compared to some stunningly beautiful — and otherworldly — designs coming out of Japan right now.
No matter how you slice it — or polish it — the maintenance of nails is for many considered a necessity, just like having the hair coiffed. These industries will never die — but certainly they will face a lot of change due to new technology.
TaiyoKikaku Co., Ltd. isn’t just experimenting with the 3D printing of nails — they’ve been on a manufacturing marathon, producing the fancy fingernail accouterments for trendsetting females — and seriously, intensely recording their progress. The company, based in Japan, is in fact so passionate about these nails that they’ve featured them in a short cinematographic wonder, ‘Transforming.’ Or is it that they are so passionate about cinematography that they simply used their 3D printed nails as a subject? Both the movie and the nails are absolute aesthetic wonders that you will not want to miss seeing. We are dealing with a talented group of inspired people here.
Their short animation involves a total of 521 3D printed nails being attached and replaced. ‘Transforming’ is compelling evidence that the manicure medium is about to change forever — and by that, we mean it’s about to explode with color, creativity, and not only 3D printing, but 3D shapes, ornaments, and accents.
TaiyoKikaku takes not only the art of film but also nail art to a new level. Using a real hand filmed frame to frame, and no computer graphics, the team shows us a fun and delectable collage of 3D printed nails from cute and colorful to adorned and avante-garde. In watching the movie short, the team invites you to:
“Imagine how it would be If your nails were revitalized.
Colors change as your hands move.
Ideas come into shapes.
Our nail art keeps transforming on your nails.
Please enjoy such a wonderful world you have never seen before.”
Made by TaiyoKikaku’s manicurist Hatsuki Furutani and a full production team, the film demonstrates the wide range the team has been able to produce in terms of color and decoration, which should offer not only a huge boost to the salon industry but also allow for almost an infinite number of variations and creative options for young girls and women. To 3D print the nails, the team used a Stratasys ProJet 660Pro, with the thinnest parts of the nails being only 0.56mm. And yes, those nails were actually replaced one by one for the film.
Picture dark maroon nails decorated with little black and white flowers, or a variety of lighter colors with delicate, embellished 3D egglike ornaments. The designs by TaiyoKikaku certainly have the potential to make going out on the town — or just tapping the keyboard — a whole new way of making a fashion statement, or just enjoying staring at your fingertips in endless awe.
Would you be interested in using TaiyoKikaku’s 3D printed nails for making a fashion statement with your next manicure? Did you find the film inspiring? Tell us about it in the Transforming 3D Printed Nails forum thread over at 3DPB.com. Check out ‘Transforming’ and a behind-the-scenes look at it below.