There aren’t many ways that men today can express themselves with formal or office wear these days. While women are often pressured to wear stylish and expressive clothing, men tend to be forced into a box of bland sameness where your suit colors are black, brown, or blue. But wearing interesting neckties is often where men are allowed to shine, and express themselves and their unique personalities.
When I worked in an office environment where ties were required, my typical choices ranged from cartoon characters, to comic books and even to a bacon tie. Not literally bacon of course, I would have eaten that long before I arrived at work, but a tie patterned to look like a large slice of bacon. Part of the reason that I chose the ties I did was because they were odd, nerdy, and silly enough to express my personality rather clearly. But I also did it because if I had no choice but to wear a contraption that made me perpetually uncomfortable for my entire work day I certainly wasn’t going to take it seriously.
So it should really come as no surprise that 3D printed neckties are a thing and have been for a while. Granted, since they are made of plastic, they are often more novelty than anything else, but as 3D printing materials and technology advances there are plenty of designers who are starting to take the 3D printed tie very seriously. Designs for 3D printed bowties are already becoming quite popular on 3D model marketplaces like Shapeways and Thingiverse, and while many of them are similarly novelties, there are plenty that are really cool and quite wearable. And now the 3D printable necktie is joining its stubbly little brother and entering the actually wearable 3D printed fashion club.
SketchFab recently spoke to one of their community members working on 3D printable neckties about his interesting design and what went into it. Boris Rabinovich designed the MyTie3D based on a vintage Armani tie pattern that he found appealing. He designed several versions of the MyTie3D, a standard sized tie and a more modern skinny tie version, as well as several knots that have removable disk-shaped ornaments. Because of the modular design, the tie actually moves quite fluidly like a tie made of fabric, and unless you were close to it would hardly read as being made of plastic.
Here is a brief video of the MyTie3D being shown off during a fashion show:
Because the MyTie3D isn’t as flexible as a typical fabric necktie, it isn’t actually tied around the wearer’s neck but is kept in place with a ziptie mechanism around the neck. The tie can further be adjusted with two different latches on the front of the tie that connect the knot to the collar mechanism. It’s actually a rather ingenious way to hold the tie in place and allow for the variety of neck sizes that one is bound to run into.
Check out this video explaining exactly how the MyTie3D works as well as a closer look at how it is assembled and worn:
Rabinovich designed his ties in PTC Creo and each tie is constructed with over 100 individual parts that are similar but require a unique shape in order to look organic. Because a typical necktie is far too large to be 3D printable in a single pieces, MyTie3D is printed in 6 individual parts that snap together. It can be printed on just about any home 3D printer, so it is easily customizable, and if you’re adventurous it can even be made reversible. The MyTie3D is a rather well designed 3D printable wearable, but even Rabinovich admits that it is still a work in progress.
“The goal of MyTie3D project was to create a sellable 3D printed product – the goal I have so far failed to achieve. For example, the version now published on Sketchfab is not durable enough and is not easy enough to use to be sold. I have since redesigned all of the components but haven’t finished the knot part yet,” Rabinovich told SketchFab.
I wouldn’t quite say that he’s failed, as the tie is already quite wearable and interesting. But one of the great things about 3D printing is prototyping is both inexpensive and quick.
Make sure you read all about Rabinovich’s design process, and then head over to our 3D Printable Necktie forum at 3DPB.com and let us know if you would wear one.