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Monday, February 4, 2013
3D Printing Used by Fashion Designers
Iris van Herpen, a 27-year-old Dutch designer is making her name for her daring experiments with 3D printing techniques.Van Herpen’s clothes are so artful that they are the subject of an exhibition at the Groninger Museum in Groningen, the Netherlands. The show opened on March 24 and ran through September 23; it showcased garments that appeared on catwalks from 2008 to the present. Not all of the pieces on view are made using 3D printing (although all three illustrated here were). But even the most intricately hand-sewn details van Herpen includes on her clothes are first modeled or otherwise created using software.
Van Herpen nods to architectural themes (she once designed a bustier
that recalls the detailing on the flying buttresses of Europe’s grand
cathedrals) and biological forms (some of her dresses and shirts look
like skeletons, only worn on top of the body). Her process begins by
sketching clothes via Photoshop instead of on paper, and then she
collaborates with engineers at the Belgian additive manufacturing company Materialise –whose
other collaborators tend to be biomedical, orthopedic, and industrial
companies. There, she 3D prints her complicated designs in materials
such as polyamide. Sometimes, they’re finished in lacquer for a
spectacularly sleek effect.