This past weekend at the 2015 New York Fashion Week (NYFW), 3D printing was making its mark on the runway yet again with Chromat’s MOMENTUM line, which is just one of the latest examples of 3D printing technology making the crossover into the industry of fashion. With the help of the tech giant Intel, Chromat has created garments that are made with 3D printing and an advanced technology by Intel, which helps to allow the clothing change shape and adapt according to the sensory experience of the person wearing the garment.
Chromat was formed by architect designer Becca McCharen in 2010, as a studio that experiments with a combination of structural design and the functions of the human body. They produce swimwear, lingerie. and architectural cages in their New York City studio. They showcased their new 3D printed line at the MADE Fashion Week event in during NYFW. this past weekend. Their collaboration with Intel gave them access to the Intel Curie Module, a tiny piece of hardware that opens Chromat’s garments up for flexibility and modification.
The two garments showcased that rely on Intel’s technology, in particular, include the Chromat Adrenaline Dress and the Chromat Aeros Sports Bra. The Adrenaline Dress is able to sense the wearer’s adrenaline, and, in doing so, causes the 3D printed shapes of the garment to expand. The Aeros Sports Bra, inspired by wind and flight, is able to detect and react to perspiration, respiration, and body temperature, which helps prevent the wearer from overheating during athletic performance.
The Adrenaline Dress is 3D printed out of neoprene, carbon fiber (which is actuated by shape memory alloy), and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The Aeros Sports Bra, on the other hand, is manufactured from Lycra, mesh, neoprene, and 3D printed frames with vents (also acuated by shape memory alloy). The shape memory alloy is a “smart metal” that is able to both change its shape and return back to the previous one as well, optimizing the augmentations of the MOMENTUM dress and sports bra.
In addition to Intel’s contributions, 3D modeling community Sketchfab was present at the NYFW event to take 3D scans of the models wearing all of the Chromat garments displayed on the runway, using the easy-to-use, but powerful itSeez3D app. The scanning process used at the fashion show adds another element to 3D printed ware, portraying the impact that 3D scanning will have on creating custom-tailored clothing in the near future.
Although this isn’t the first instance of 3D printing being used for the sake of fashion, it is certainly is one of the most innovative. Thanks to Chromat, we are now entering a world where the form of our very own clothing can be altered by the ever-changing sensory system within our bodies. Chromat and Intel have come together to design a unique fashion line for the runway in New York, but the real importance lies in the way they’re using structural design, 3D printing, and our own humanly functions to optimize the performance of our bodies.