Design studios like Nervous System focus on 3d printed innovations and come up with novel processes that allows a 3D printed dress to move and sway like real fabric. The bespoke software behind it, called Kinematics, combines origami techniques with novel approaches to 3D printing, pushing the technology’s limits.
After two days of printing at Shapeways, a dusty boulder of plastic emerges from an industrial-sized 3D printer. Technicians remove excess dust like archeologists in search of a long-buried garment. The plastic parts are cleaned and dyed, resulting in a little black (or white) dress made from tiny, interlocking bricks of plastic.
Designer Jessica Rosenkrantz made sure the gown was more than mere gimmickry. Buttons, cleverly modelled into the triangles make it easy to don and doff. Unlike other 3D printed clothing that feels like a suit of armour, the long dress flows and moves as the model strides and twirls.
Comfort was a key concern. Rosenkrantz wore 3D printed jewellery for weeks at a time in an attempt to catch design features that chafe. She built her wardrobe piece by piece, starting with a bracelet, then a belt, and finally a bodice before moving on to a dress. Rosenkrantz brought an old-school tailor’s approach to the project, but was happy to leverage modern technology. For example, 3D scans of the model’s body ensured a perfect fit. She worked with Shapeways to optimise the print quality and aesthetics. As a result, her garment and its Github repository recently were acquired by the Museum of Modern Art.
Nervous System originally developed the Kinematics concept as part of a project for Google. The goal was to help add bit of cool to a pavilion promoting Android phones. Nervous System figured out how to print bracelets on MakerBots by reducing dimensional designs to flat pieces of plastic that could be printed in under an hour and folded like origami. Google was pleased with the promotion, but Nervous System believed the concept could be used to make garments. “We’d done some simulations and made some animations showing that we could do it hypothetically,” says Rosenkrantz.
These hypothetical simulations precipitated a software engineering effort one year in the making. Scaling up from a wrist-worn wearables to cocktail dress posed a particular challenge. The hinges linking the triangles must be small enough to let the fabric flow, but robust enough to avoid a wardrobe malfunction.
These mechanical challenges were exacerbated by limitations in 3D printing technology. Pieces made with the technology have a grain, like wood, and certain orientations create stronger parts. The solution was to revamp the software. “We were able to do so much design-wise without ever printing anything,” says Rosenkrantz. “We knew not only exactly what the final piece would look like but also how it would behave.” Simulating folds was slow and inaccurate at first. Test prints of belts with 77 hinges worked beautifully, but scaling up to the 700 or more needed to create a dress repeatedly broke the software. Physics engines were tossed aside like fabric swatches.
Originally, the simulator would fold the clothes down into a ball. “Sort of like you are wadding clothes up to toss in you hamper,” says Rosenkrantz. “It looked cool but it wasn’t the most efficient way to get the volume of our designs down.” So Rosenkrantz and partner Jesse Louis-Rosenberg developed a collision-based simulator that replicates how one might fold clothes to put them in a drawer.
The project pushed design, fashion, and fabrication in surprising ways. “To 3D print structures in this crazy compressed form and have them unfold; that almost sounds like science fiction,” says Rosenkrantz. “Frankly, when you work on something complex like this in a completely digital world for so long, the biggest surprise is that it actually works as intended, from the compressing to the fit, draping, and movement.”
Printing also required special development. Nervous System needed to develop new tools to load its software. “We’ve been working with Nervous and our community over the years to push the machines to their limits,” says Carine Carmy of Shapeways. “From how densely we can pack the trays so you can print 1,000 products at once versus just one, to how long you need to run them so we can produce products more quickly, to how precise and detailed the prints can be so that you can design with micron precision.”
Next up for Nervous System is improving the speed and adding new mechanisms and structures that will allow simulating different materials — think of a stout tweed versus a gossamer silk. Ultimately, the team thinks can be expanded for other applications like Skylar Tibbits Hyperform project.
At $3,000 a pop, Nervous System isn’t quite ready to commercialize its wearable wares. But there are certainly ambitious plans to develop it even further. “That is a very high number although perhaps considerably lower than the price of most other 3D printed garments,” she says. “We’re hoping to bring the price down before we start selling clothing.“
3D printing in fashion has rapidly developed in the last year alone to allow everything from houses to human skin grafts to be printed. Fashion Spyder reports on this incredible new toolbox and the pioneering fashion designers that are using it best.
Designers and engineers have now been using 3D printers for over a decade to create prototypes, small parts and also just purely experimental pieces. Since 2010, the cost of 3D printers has decreased dramatically to a fraction of the price, now making it possible to buy yourself a desktop 3D printer for your home or studio. For a quick taste about affordable 3d printers, you can check our step by step buy guide.
Meanwhile the possibilities of this technology are increasing rapidly and we are seeing everything from large-scale industrial machines such as cars, aircraft parts and even houses to micro-scale organic products such as human skin grafts and bone prosthetics being printed. And with the addition of the more advanced multi-color 3d printers like Rova3D, you can really take customization to the next level and unleash your creativity without limits!
3d printing in fashion is rapidly developing and, with our love of wearable technology growing just as rapidly, fashion designers are creating some incredible wearable designs. Check out some of the coolest designs that were presented in the latest pret a porte show in Milan, highlighting what 3d printing in fashion is capable of.
Fashion designers are always searching for new materials and textiles with which to create and express their concepts, and now scientists and engineers have created a whole new toolbox they can work with. With the possibilities of creating the perfect fit by scanning the body and then printing the fabric directly, the designer can create unique pieces of bespoke Haute Couture in a fraction of the time and cost it traditionally would.
What once was a long and expensive process can now be attained at the push of a button. As Francis Bitonti suggested, “every tool has its limits but 3D printing in fashion has far less limits than any other tool I’ve ever used”. This is particularly interesting for the fashion industry as it opens new possibilities for ready-to 3D print designs. It can bring production costs down while raising revenue worldwide, especially in remote areas where it’s not easy to reach. 3d printing in fashion can revolutionize the way we select and purchase our clothes, moving from the high street fashion to the high tech fashion.
Fashion Spyder is an online network supporting emerging designers worldwide. Their Fashion Journal is dedicated to providing relevant news about 3d printing in fashion and information specific to contemporary fashion designers whether established or recently graduated.
Perhaps the most cautionary hype cycle of all is the one for personal 3D printers. Gartner identifies two themes. The first is that the enterprise market and the consumer market for 3D printers are driven by entirely different uses and requirements. As such, they bear little resemblance to one another. For instance, there are 40 or so established manufacturers selling enterprise-class 3D printers to business for $100,000 and up. By contrast, more than 200 startups are hoping to crack the consumer market with personal 3D printers priced as low as several hundred dollars.
The second point is that 3D printing is not one technology, but a combination of seven different ones. “Hype around home use obfuscates the reality that 3D printing involves a complex ecosystem of software, hardware and materials, whose use is not as simple as ‘hitting print’ on a paper printer,” notes Pete Basiliere, research vice-president at Gartner.
The hype cycle for 3D printing shows some of the technologies involved are maturing faster than others, and could be widely available within a few years. For instance, the use of 3D printing for making prototypes—a mainstay of the industry since its inception—is enjoying increasing acceptance in business. But prototyping is unlikely to be of much interest to home users. Besides, despite the broad awareness and media buzz, even the prices of personal 3D printers that are being banded around are still too high for typical do-it-yourself consumers. Overall, says Mr Basiliere, consumer 3D printing is five to ten years away from mainstream adoption.
Babbage thinks even that may be optimistic. Several months ago, he wondered aloud whether 3D printers would ever make it into the home, if the only things they could fabricate were small trinkets and gew-gaws out of soft or brittle plastics (see “Making the cut”, June 2nd 2014). He felt that, to have any practical value, personal 3D printers should be able to make load-bearing components—to repair things around the home like lawnmowers, washing machines, children’s bicycles and old cars. To do that would mean being able to print with powdered metals.
But, while industrial metal printers that use selective laser sintering do an excellent job, they cost $125,000 or more. Their price would have to come down by two orders of magnitude to have any chance of making it into the home.
Consumer 3D printing is still at its hype cycle’s peak of expectations. Whether it survives the coming slide into the trough of disillusionment, with the inevitable shake-out of suppliers, is still too early to say. Babbage hopes it does, but that the survivors focus more on reducing the cost of making things that are genuinely useful rather than merely ornamental.
Have you seen sci-fi movies where 3d printing underwear is made available within minutes? Take a trip to Moscow and discover that it’s real life for Russians! Earlier this summer, Russia’s parliament took the controversial step of banning all underwear made from synthetic lace, preventing its manufacture and sale within the country. But if Russians don’t like the ban, which labels the undergarments as harmful to Russian’s health, they can always make their own — if they have 3D printers.
This August, Russia designer Viktoria Anoka hired Moscow company 3DPrintus to create a pair of panties for the company Lascana, presented as part of St. Petersburg’s technology fair “Geek Picnic”. It’s the first time there was a real 3d printing underwear made.
“Lascana was definitely the craziest thing we have been asked to print,” 3DPrintus founder and CEO Konstantin Ivanov told The Moscow Times. The project took more than three months and is the first underwear to be printed in Russia.
Of course, the end product’s plastic feel meant it wasn’t entirely comfortable. Anastasia Belousova, who modeled the 3D printing underwear for Lascana, said the attire was “interesting but not for everyday life”. But again, this is now, who knows what innovative solutions will be available in the future? Maybe our kids download their pants and bras from 3D printing underwear marketplaces like 3DPrintus.
But 3D printing underwear isn’t just a novelty. The business, once confined to research laboratories, is on the rise in Moscow. The process, in which printers lay down layer after layer of material, is hailed as revolutionary because it allows manufacturers to move production away from huge factories in faraway countries to more tailored, localized production.
There are about a dozen 3D printing underwear companies in Moscow. Businesses like 3DPrintus allow designers to upload their designs onto an online platform for customers to choose from. The customer then selects the product they want and chooses the material they would like it made from. “It allows designers to create a product and bring it to the public for much cheaper than if they were to make it in a factory,” Ivanov said. Designs include 3d printing underwear among many other 3d models which can be grouped in multiple categories.
The variety of 3D materials available is vast: everything from synthetic plastics to silver and gold. Even Ivanov’s wedding ring, consisting of two intertwining bands of yellow and white gold, was 3D printed with one of the machines. For a precious material like gold they first made a prototype, then a mold out of wax and finally the ring.
Although the 3D printing underwear process takes a long time, techniques are developing rapidly. When creating material out of stainless steel, for instance, 3DPrintus uses a computer to spray steel powder in layers, much like an inkjet printer.
3dPrintus is first Russian marketplace of 3d-printed objects.
This spray method can create much more intricate designs. The company is currently in the experimental phase of creating a powder out of gold that would open the door for much more intricate designs and make the process much faster.
To prove how versatile the products from the printers can be, Ivanov made a 3D model of a Moscow Times reporter, a “3D selfie” he called it.
The process started by taking pictures from every angle. The photos were then uploaded onto a laptop that started processing the images. First making a rough outline of the pictures to create a 3D image, it repeated the process each time with more detail until a mesh of points was created and a 3D version appeared on a screen. This image was then sent to printers located in a large warehouse on the outskirts of Moscow.
A week later the “selfie” was ready. The amount of detail was incredible: everything from dress creases to the details of shoes.
Many say that 3D printing underwear could open a world of opportunity. Aid agencies can use them to cheaply create items needed for water sanitation or replace missing items in aid packages. British company ScanLAB, for instance, has been working on a project with Greenpeace to map icebergs to aid in research about climate change.
But while there is no denying that 3D printing underwear could be used for a lot of good, there is also the potential that the technology could be used for dangerous and possibly destructive purposes. Blueprints for creating guns using a 3D-printer can easily be found online. And because the weapons could be made of plastic, they could even slip unnoticed through airport security.
But for now 3DPrintus will likely stick to underwear and other more peaceful items. And while Ivanov scoffs that 3D printing underwear will ever really replace mass production, the idea of something made-to-order yet affordable is certainly appealing.
3D printing is currently the subject of a great deal of speculation and excitement in the media. Touted as the technology to bring about the next industrial revolution and the in-sourcing of manufacturing jobs back to the West, the term in fact refers to a raft of technologies each of which is compatible for use with a particular material type.
In fact the materials market for 3D printing is possibly the most contentious issue in the 3D printing industry today. 3D printer manufacturers are increasingly engaging in practices which are perceived by end-users as anti-competitive by locking customers in to their own materials supplies via key-coding and RFID tagging of material cartridges, an activity which is effectively enabling monopoly pricing of the materials concerned.
Development of new materials for 3D printing is hindered by the practice of lock-in by some 3D printer manufacturers. Barriers to entry for 3rd party materials suppliers are high, and those who do enter the market are unable to get the economies of scale required to accelerate both materials development and progress towards a competitive market.
In the short to mid-term, downwards pressure on materials prices will be driven mainly by new entrants to the 3D printer manufacture arena that do not engage in lock-in practices and enable customers to source materials from the supplier(s) of their choice, and also by pressure from large end-users wielding buying power to force prices down.
View full report at http://www.marketresearchreports.biz/analysis/177081
This report gives forecasts to 2025 for the following materials supplies:
Materials in development but not yet commercial, which research is mainly taking place in universities, are also discussed.
The market for photopolymers will retain the largest single segment of the market through to 2025 although the other materials markets will gain market share in terms of tons produced driven largely by the move away from prototyping/tooling applications towards final product manufacture.
Highest growth will be seen in the market for metal powders, although production, currently placed at less than 30 tons/year, will remain relatively low. This, in combination with high raw material and processing prices, will combine such that prices for these materials will fall more slowly than for alternative 3D printing materials.
Market growth in a business-as-usual scenario when lock-in remains common practice and prices remain high will be steady, as illustrated below. However, extensive interviews with both materials developers and end-users indicate that prices are falling. This will modulate growth of the market size even as mass production increases in line with the growth of the cumulative installed base.
Further, for any given material class, market size (in terms of $M) is more sensitive to the installed base of the corresponding 3D printer technology than to the actual price of the materials themselves. Should material prices increase, only a small reduction in the average utilisation rate of the printer installed base is required for the market size to actually fall as a result.
Artist Ardan Özmenoğlu creates extraordinary 3D printing on glass by painting on panels and layering them into one consistent 3D picture, in this case a tree that floats on air. Amazing concept and splendid delivery that requires serious amount of creativity!
This is one of the most amazing examples of what an artist can do using 3D printers. Technology and art is mixed in such a fast pace that soon 3D printing on glass can be the norm in many facilities. The sky is the limit when it comes to 3D printers and it’s up to the artists to come up with crazy ideas that challenge the existing status quo.
Every process has its challenges. Of course nothing is easy in the beginning. The same goes with 3d printing on glass, it was surely not an easy task. But science and art can never move forward unless they have daring artists that are bold enough to try something completely new and break the rules. In the case of Ardan Özmenoğlu, the talent young man from Turkey, the 3d printing on glass had all the elements of being unique and innovative while creating a serious wow factor to the spectator. The results of 3d printing on glass are just out of this world as you can see on the picture above.
How is 3d printing on glass possible? The artist uses clear or semi-clear materials like paper and glass as an art board. She basically separates the objects which she is interested in drawing into layered pictures. Each piece of glass, each layer, looks abstract. Only when she combines them in rows one can see the whole of the artwork. A noteworthy quality of her artworks is the they change shape in accordance with the viewing angle of the spectator.
Who is the person behind 3d printing on glass innovation? Ardan Özmenoğlu is a Turkish artist that uses her art in order to investigate how the permanence or ephemerality of images throughout history have affected human culture. Born in 1979 in Ankara, her visual mantras include images of history and consumptions. We hope to see more from her in the future as she continious to experiment with 3d printers.