Apr 23, 2016 | By Kira

It’s not often that you hear the words ‘Geek’ and ‘Fashionista’ in the same sentence, but a 3D printing fashion startup wants you to think otherwise. Massachusetts-based MyTie3D has re-branded itself as 3DTie, and opened an entire store of modular, customizable, and 3D printed plastic neckties that are surprisingly wearable, while allowing modern men to truly express their individuality.

In professional settings, men’s fashion is dominated by an excess of standard black, brown, or grey suits that do little to express any distinct sense of style. Neckties, however, are perhaps the one area where men have been able to add a touch of personality: wide or skinny, silk or tweed, and available in nearly every color of the rainbow, neckties can really, well, tie an outfit together.

Wanting to tap into this small but important section of the men’s fashion market while experimenting with new materials and technologies, software architect Boris Rabinovich began designing 3D printed ties over two years ago.

While standard fabric ties may seem quite easy to make, 3D printing a plastic tie is anything but. Nobody wants a stiff piece of plastic hanging off of their neck, but giving plastic fluid, fabric-like properties requires quite a bit of ingenuity. Rabinovich, who studied math with a focus on geometry and topology, thus turned to 3D CAD software PTC Creo to create a unique, interlocking design. Each 3DTie consists of over 100 similar yet distinct tiles that cleverly clip into one another while allowing for a surprising amount of movement.

The 3DTies are then 3D printed on a standard desktop 3D printer using PLA filament, which is widely available and relatively eco-friendly. Rabinovich himself uses an Ultimaker 2 3D printer, printing each tie in six pieces that are easily snapped together.

The result is a 3D printed ‘fabric’ that can bend smoothly, straighten back out, and follow the wearers’ body as they sit, stand and walk—just like a regular tie. The 3DTies can even be rolled-up for storage or travelling, and remain 100% wrinkle free. Instead of being knotted around the wearers' neck, the 3DTie attaches to a ziptie cord that can be adjusted to comfortably fit many neck sizes.

“The ties feature a modular design with knots acting as interface hubs connecting the blade, two ends of the neck cord, and customization elements,” Rabinovich explained to 3Ders.org. “Knots and blades are connected via a spring bar and are interchangeable just like wrist-watch bands. The neck cord is 1.75 mm flex filament and is easy to put on, take off and adjust. Both blades and knots are highly customizable.”

From the very beginning, Rabinovich knew he wanted to create a wide variety of necktie designs, opening up men to styles they might never have known existed. He thus designed two basic shapes: Necktie and Skinny, plus a whole variety of knots and ornaments that can be swapped in or out depending on the style you’re going for. The knots include Windsor, Holey and Avi (the latter is still in beta), and patterns include solid, lace effect, or the exclusive two-colored Dance ornament. The final styles range from conservative to fashion-forward to novelty designs for parties.

“Equally appropriate for a geek or fashionista, 3DTie is as much a technology achievement as it is a fashion statement, and a great conversation piece too,” said Rabinovich.

He has every reason to be proud of his creation. When he initially began the MyTie3D project, he told Sketchfab that his goal was to create a sellable 3D printed product, yet it was a goal he beleived he had failed to achieve.

Flash forward 12 months, and he has refined and perfected his product to the point where he has created an entire web shop and been featured in fashion shows and various 3D printing events.  He added that while 3D printing has many useful applications beyond men’s fashion, this project was a great study of consumer level 3D printing, and a fun way to explore 3D design software and 3D printing materials.

The standard Necktie 3D file along with several 3D printable inserts are currently available to download on Sketchfab. You can also check out the 3DTie's web shop, where prices range from $140 to $200.

Granted, 3DTie won’t be for everyone—traditionalists may still prefer their black and navy standbys—however, these unique 3D printed neck accessories will certainly give men a wider variety of options when it comes to expressing their individuality through style.

For more dapper 3D printed accessories, check out this 3D printed bowtie or an entire collection of 3D printed cufflinks and tiepins.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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