It is with mixed emotions that I write this post — sheer delight at the subject matter and rather muted excitement at the prohibitive price barriers.
I am a fan of hats full stop. Have been since I was a little girl and in recent years I have been waiting and wondering about 3D printed hats – a combination of two of my favourite things. I can’t say I am too surprised that this range comes from .MGX, a division of Belgian 3D printing company Materialise, as there was a focus on hat design for 3D printing in evidence at the company’s world conference last year.
However, this latest collection of 3D printed hats and head pieces has been designed by renowned milliner Elvis Pompilio in collaboration with the design agency .rad Product and launched by .MGX. They can be purchased on-line exclusively through the .MGX webshop or, for anyone in or around Brussels, standard and customized versions can be procured from Elvis Pompilio’s flagship store in the city.
By far my personal favourite in this collection is the H.MGX, which is Pompilio’s take on the classic fedora. I absolutely love this, but the standard version is retailing at €496. Now for this price the hat is much lighter and more intricate than traditional versions of this type of hat — both key advantages of the technology that make it a stunning visual accessory. But if you want to take get the full benefit of the tech, that’s to say you want it customized to fit your head (which I would) it would cost more. And, I want it in red …. there would definitely be a further premium for that. Do I have circa €1000 to spend on a hat? Unfortunately not!
Pompilio has also created a modern and highly detailed version of the veil. According to the designer, the veil ‘signifies mystery’ and this 3D printed veil is both eye-catching and fantastic example of the versatility of the technology. However, like the fedora, the price is also a little eye-watering, starting at €413.
Less eye-watering is the Bruxelles.MGX head piece, which has been inspired by the city that both designers — Pompilio and Laurent Chabrier of .rad Product — call home. More of a head band than a hat, it features some of the places that they love most and is truly unique. One wonders if they would create customized versions of this head piece for patriotic residents of, say London, New York … or indeed any other metropolitan city of the world. This piece retails at €83.
The fashion industry is a high-profile, high-value sector that is benefitting greatly from the current novelty value of 3D printing technology and providing positive profiling of what it can do. It looks set to continue as more designers introduce the technology to their creative processes.
One quite literal hat tip to @RichRap3D
Source: .MGX by Materialise