Additive Manufacturing Strategies

This 3D Printed ‘Letter Dress’ is Inspired by Steve Jobs and Alan Kay

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Scott Taylor and his 3D printed dresses

In order to make a really bold statement within the fashion industry, designers must take it upon themselves to go where no one else has gone before. It take visionaries and innovators to become successful fashion designers, and it’s these visionaries who ultimately gain the attention of fashionistas of the world. As many of you know, 3D Print Week NY brought an entire 3D printed fashion show to the Big Apple in April, and with it came mainstream media from around the world. The show featured all sorts of unique, fascinating pieces, all of which brought me visions of a future filled with very unique, and in some cases just plain weird, fashion designs.

heisel1One man, who was on hand at the show, but not a participant in the 3D Printed Fashion Show, was Scott Taylor. He and his wife Sylvia Heisel are designers who have recently taken a liking to 3D printing. I had the chance to speak briefly with Taylor about two designs which he had brought to the show on behalf of MyMiniFactory.

When it comes to 3D printed fashion, just about every new design that comes off of the 3D printer seems to be unique in its own right, but one one of Taylor’s pieces really caught my eye. It’s a dress that Taylor and Heisel refer to simply as the “Letter Dress,” and when you see it, you will certainly understand why.

“We created the .STL files for each letter of the alphabet on 2-inch squares in TinkerCad, printed them out and connected them with small metal rings,” Taylor told 3DPrint.com. “The front of the dress is an Alan Kay quote that says ‘The best way to predict the future is to invent it’, and the back of the dress is a Steve Jobs quote that says ‘Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.'”

The "Letter Dress"

The “Letter Dress”

Each individual box featured on the dress is relatively the same design, except for the fact that they feature different letters on them and feature holes located in different positions. Each box is then connected to the boxes surrounding them using little metal keychain links, which act to allow for a free-flowing form that can easily contour to the wearer’s body.

The dress took about 30 hours to print out, and according to Taylor, “used very little filament.” The hard, and time consuming, part was the actual assembly, requiring each piece to be connected via the metal links.

Taylor and Heisel run a fashion website called HEISEL and undoubtedly this isn’t the last 3D printed design we see from the husband and wife partners. The letter dress is currently making guest appearances at makerspaces, kids’ classes, and fashion shoots around the New York City area. The design files for the dress will be made available on MyMiniFactory for others to download and print out themselves.

What do you think about this unique “Letter Dress”? Is this something you or someone you know would wear? Discuss in the 3D Printed Letter Dress forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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