3DP Applications

Solid Concepts Is Lastest 3D Printing Vendor in the Fashion Stakes

The AVEDA Congress is a world-renowned hair show, so you would be forgiven for wondering how on earth that links to 3D printing but it does — in the unique and complex forms of three high-fashion headpieces.

As with many original ideas, it all started on a napkin. The ideas were those of Ray Civello, CEO of Aveda Canada, who, two weeks before the 2013 edition of the Aveda Congress 2013, was sketching out some ideas. Ray is a bit of a hair superstar, renowned in the industry for more than 37 years. He told Solid Concepts: “It’s the old story honestly: I drew little shapes on the back of an Air Canada napkin and it got into Stephen Ma’s hands and that’s how it happened. Stephen, a talented CAD designer, came to see me and he was very excited. The whole process took one and half to two weeks – it was meant to be – and I’m very grateful and thankful to all you guy.”

It seems Civello was planning to make this year’s Congress his last on stage, and therefore wanted to go out with a bit of a bang — ‘something unique, something more than hair.’

He recalls: “I’ve been doing hair for 37 years. I was what they called a session hair dresser, meaning I specialized in photo shoots doing editorial and advertising – I travelled everywhere. I got known for doing sculptures out of everything from fabric to paper and so photographers were always calling me in saying, ‘Could you do this with clay?’ I started working with any material and became interested in sculpture. Hair is interesting, but I find this [sculpturing] far more interesting.”

For his swan song pieces none of the existing of familiar methodologies of production quite matched his vision, he said: “I watched the team work and I could see it just wasn’t going to make it; it would be organic, raw architecture which was not what my eye, my head and my heart was looking for. I was looking for something very refined, something extremely sophisticated and beautiful. I wasn’t looking for something hard and geometric in that sense; I was looking for something that still had the romance of roundness to it but refined and elegant.”

The solution of course, came with 3D Printing, which provided the team at Aveda Canada with a whole different way of approaching the design. The result, precisely what Ray was looking for — refined, beautiful, elegant and very detailed. His statement: “I can’t imagine how we would’ve gotten that amount of detail by hand, it just couldn’t exist,” has a familiar ring. I doubt he’ll be the last to conclude that.

Stephen Ma, the designer who providentially met Civello in the weeks before the Aveda Congress, modelled Civello’s designs in 3D CAD and sent them to Solid Concepts, whom he had worked with during his undergrad career at SCI-Arc. The team at Solid Concepts used the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) industrial 3D printing process to bring the designs into the physical world — and rather eye catching they are too. Everything that Ray envisioned they would be. The SLS process is one of the few 3D printing process that could fulfill this application — with thin branches stretched and intertwined and delicate overhanging features sprouting out over each other in an entangling engagement of space and flow.

AVEDA Solid Scape Models

Civello wanted to bring to life something unique and special; something that wasn’t about hair but about art: “It was an anti-hair statement at a hair conference,” Ray told Solid Concepts, apparently, with a smile. “But Congress, which is maybe the best hair event in the world, is really a celebration of the craft; the product takes a back seat to support and celebrate art.”

And the outcome of the 3D Printed hair sculptures is, in Civello’s words, “Spectacular.”

I agree.

Source: Solid Concepts