Burlesque performer Dita Von Teese modeled the very first fully articulated 3D-printed dress at an unveiling party earlier this week at Ace Hotel New York. The spectacular garment is made of 17 individually printed pieces with 3,000 articulated joints. To further glamorize the piece, the designers adorned the netted pattern with 12,000 black Swarovski crystals. Created by designer Michael Schmidt and architect Francis Bitonti, in collaboration with Shapeways, the black gown boasts an ease in movement that paves the way for future 3D-printed fashion.
The Fibbonaci-inspired outfit is given its fluidity in motion through its printed hinged mesh design. While the wonders of 3D-printing technology make it possible for powdered Nylon to transform into a three-dimensional garment, it is the inclusion of the carefully designed articulation that turns the plastic attire into a material that echoes the flexibility of textiles.
Schmidt explains the unique construction of the dress: “The fluidity of the joints is all 3D-printed, layer upon layer of fine powdered nylon within the preheated chamber, based on information by the CAD file. The laser ‘sinters' the nylon into form, a process known as select laser sintering, or SLS. It's an articulated fabric built into the 3D print itself. It's something that's never been done. What Francis and Shapeways have achieved here is truly remarkable.”