3D Printing

Australian Architects Take Home Top Prize in 3D Printing Fashion Contest

Singapore is quickly making a comfortable home for 3D printing with institutions such as Nanyang Technological University approaching the technology at full steam. In conjunction with the opening of the university’s $30 million Additive Manufacturing Centre, NTU hosted an international fashion competition this past winter, with the winners announced recently. As part of the competition, entrants were required to design wearable 3D-printed fashion that were both sustainability-themed and water-themed. Australian architects, Elena and Kae Woei of XYZ Workshop bubbled up the winning design, inspired by the process of electrolysis and the creation of hydrogen, a proposed form of sustainable energy.

Using a Microsoft Kinect, the architects began by 3D scanning a dress form[1] and creating a 3D mesh that they could work with in Rhino 3D. The design was then mapped onto the virtual dress form and printed out in 26 segments of Flexible PLA over the course of 170 hours. Though the designers intentionally constrained themselves to the use of an Ultimaker 3D printer, in order to demonstrate the disruptive potential of the technology to the traditional manufacturing paradigm, they also designed a five segment version of the garment for possible production on large-format, industrial additive machines. In their design, you can see two types of shapes, solid and open spheres, laid out to resemble a lace-like fabric.  The idea was to reflect the transient state of water molecules as they undergo electrolysis. The silhouette of the garment was made to resemble that of the traditional Chinese cheongsam. Take a look at images from the design and production process, as well as the photo shoot. Photos by Memento Inc. featuring model Amarantha Rayne with hair and make-up by Suggar Beauty.

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This isn’t the first 3D printing contest that the couple has entered. In addition to the hyrdo-top, the Lims have designed a toy robot that launches candy and a planter chess set. Both reflect the playfulness of their 3D prints, a feeling inspired by their 16-month-old, Cooper. You should definitely head over to their site because they’ve got a lot of cool stuff, including a series of lattice-y animals. And, in addition to creating neat 3D consumer goods, the duo also help others utilize 3D printing to bring ideas to life. They even plan to offer workshops for kids to use 3D printing as a learning tool. If their talent spreads via these workshops, maybe we’ll see the whole of Oceania producing such quirky and cool 3D prints!

Source: XYZ Workshop

Photo credit: Memento Inc.
Model: Amarantha Rayne
Hair & Make-up: Suggar Beauty

[1]Ideally, when it comes to full-scale production, I think that the scan would be done with the model, instead of the mannequin, so as to tailor the fit specifically to the wearer’s body.  This would demonstrate the practical purpose of such a scanning technique, but I’m guessing that the architects did not yet know who would be wearing the garment.