Mar 13, 2016 | By Tess

With Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen having just unveiled another stunning collection of 3D printed dresses, the future and potentials of additively manufactured clothing have been on our minds. While the Dutch designer’s stunning works are perhaps best suited for the runway or even a museum, other efforts are being made to use the technology to create wearable fashions for more everyday needs.

A team of developers from the University of Herfordshire in the UK, for instance, has recently announced that it has created a prototype collection of wearable 3D printed clothing with their potentially revolutionary MODECLIX technology. The project, which has focused on creating 3D printed textiles that possess similar qualities to cloth, has successfully created a number of garments that are both wearable and customizable.

MODECLIX was developed by Dr. Shaun Borstrock, Associate Dean and the Head of the Digital Hack Lab at the University of Herfordshire, in collaboration with 3D design expert Mark Bloomfield of Electrobloom, a brand of 3D printed customizable jewelry. The approach to creating the 3D printed garments is based upon recreating and interpreting weaves, stitches, and knit patterns to make flowing, flexible 3D printed textiles. With the textiles printed in pieces rather than one piece garments, the MODECLIX project allows for clothing to be customized to any shape and size either during the 3D designing stages, or even after the printing. That is, the 3D printed textiles, which can be colored and dyed easily, can be adjusted and connected by attaching the links of the textiles by hand.

“Previous 3D printed designs have been mostly conceptual pieces that are solid, with little or no movement. We have strived to create stylish 3D printed garments that have sufficient movement to ensure they are fluid, eye-catching and comfortable to wear. These prototypes are made, dyed and finished by hand and our aim now is to produce them for a wider market,” Dr Borstrock said. “It will only be a matter of time before we see 3D collections on the high street and 3D printing technology in stores as part of everyday life. We’re pleased to be part of the movement that is exploring how this might become a reality.”

Mark Bloomfield adds, “I’ve spent the last 25 years exploring how technology and 3D printing can enhance production techniques for jewellery and accessories, and this has been a fantastic opportunity to take this research even further. There is a huge amount of potential to develop complex construction techniques that defy traditional pattern cutting and create garments that are multi-functional, customisable and wearable.”

So far the collection consists of eight colorful dresses and two headpieces which will be officially unveiled April 21st at the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South Africa International Fashion Film Festival. The collection will also be available to view online as of May 1st on MODECLIX’s website.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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