3D printed dress debuts at New York Fashion Week

3D printing technology is constantly evolving and changing, and now that there are multi-color, multi-material 3D printers out there, the fashion industry is being along for the ride. Designers are able to push the technology even further to create designs of varying color gradations and material thicknesses, and from this, New York Fashion Week saw the debut of a newly designed 3D printed dress.

Oscillation, 3D printed dress, New York Fashion Week. Image: BusinessWire
Oscillation, 3D printed dress, New York Fashion Week. Image: BusinessWire


Conceived by fashion leader threeASFOUR and New York-based designer Travis Fitch, the dress design was enabled by a collaboration with Stratasys. Titled ‘Oscillation’, the piece is made of 30 individual sections.

“3D printing is transformative for designers aiming to take complex designs and realize them as a wearable garment. In the case of ‘Oscillation,’ Stratasys 3D printing enabled us to visualize 3D patterns as they truly are – complex, interwoven circles of energy, transforming in shape, color and flexibility as they radiate around the body,” explains Adi Gil, threeASFOUR. “The stellar parallax of the patterns, the way in which they transform as the viewing angle changes, is only possible through 3D printing.”

The dress is made of colorful, multi-material 3D printed parts that are interwoven, interlocking structures based and derived from vibrational geometries and frequency geometries. The flexible nature of the material allowed for the 2-dimensional structures to be printed and then assembled together, like puzzle pieces. Each print was digitally split into nine layers of less than one millimeter in thickness in order to effectively produce the gradated coloration. Individual layers were assigned a particular mixture of color and flexibility for the overall effect, with nearly 300 separate design files used to complete the project.

“The design is about making the coloration and the form kind of relate to each other and have a sort of dialogue with each other, so that as something thickens, as something thins. As it gets bigger or smaller, all the kinds of variations of form, the coloration is responsive to that, and the materiality is responsive to that. It’s really essential to be able to code the physical material with the digital material with something that is responsive to the body and form and function of the piece,” said Travis Fitch.

This isn’t the first time these designers have collaborated with Stratasys, with the debut of 3D printed ‘Pangolin’ and ‘Harmonograph’ dresses in the designers’ Fall/Winter collection at New York Fashion Week earlier this year. These first 3D printed pieces were key to threeASFOUR’s successful ‘Biomimicry’ collection, spurring them to further test the extensive potential of Stratasys’ 3D printing technology.

Featured image: Business Wire