3d printing fashion


Apr. 15, 2015 | By Simon

Between the wild and crazy concepts that we’ve seen from Lady Gaga to the incredible linked-assembly dresses we’ve seen from Nervous System, the intersection of additive manufacturing and fashion is nothing short of one of the most futuristic applications for 3D printing technologies that we’ve seen.

More recently, New York City-based artist and designer Alexis Walsh – whose inspiration stems from developing wearable designs from more rigid structural forms – has been experimenting with using additive manufacturing technologies as a part of her fabrication process.

“The majority of Alexis’s work focuses on the notion of using the human body as canvas,” says the designer’s website.

“Through unconventional materials such as metal and plastic, and the exploration of technologies including 3D printing, Alexis transcends the traditional modes of fashion to push the boundaries of wearable art.”

For her most recent collection, the LYSIS COLLECTION, Walsh drew inspiration from virulent formations and deterioration to develop a body of work that consists of shapes that mimic the growth of viral structures while blending organic shapes with rigid structural silhouettes.  To make these geometrically-complex shapes real, Walsh combined both traditional garment manufacturing techniques as well as CAD modeling and additive manufacturing to bring her vision to life.

The 3D printed components were modeled using McNeel’s Rhino and were printed in white nylon through the 3D printing service Shapeways.  To add further details, a 3Doodler 3D printing pen was used before the the 3D printed parts were sanded, dyed and finished by hand to be added to the existing handsewn garment pieces.

In total, the LYSIS COLLECTION is made up of six full looks and ten individual garments.  Among other components within the collection that were created using additive manufacturing technologies include 3D printed neckpieces, 3D printed hems and sleeves, a 3D printed skirt shell and a 3D printed bra shell.  The collection was made possible in part thanks to the first-ever Shapeways Education Grant, which was advised by computational smart textiles and wearable technology expert Sabine Seymour of Moondial.

This isn’t the first time that Walsh has been creating 3D printed textiles, either.  Previously, the talented designer worked as a part of a collaboration with Francis Bitonti Studio in 2014 to create a 3D printed dress made from smaller hand-assembled parts and then handsewn with fur lining as a part of the New Skins 2014 Workshop.

It looks like Walsh might be one of the few designers these days who is embracing 3D printing as a medium in textile design and perhaps might be one to watch as we move into the future of 3D printing applications in wearables.  You can check out more of her work by heading to her website.