Mar 16, 2017 | By Tess

Vancouver Fashion Week is coming up on March 20 and attendees can expect to see at least one piece of 3D printed fashion there. Up-and-coming Australian designer Charne Esterhuizen has been invited to present her stunning 3D printed butterfly dress, made up of nearly 150 rubber 3D printed butterflies.

Charne Esterhuizen, a 23-year-old designer from Canberra, has turned to 3D printing technology to realize her unique and beautifully striking fashion designs. Her butterfly dress, which is made up entirely of 3D printed pieces, took the young designer six months to complete, and took a total of about 800 hours to 3D print.

As Esterhuizen explains, the dress is made up of 130 to 150 individual butterflies, each of which takes about five hours to 3D print. The 3D printing itself was done in collaboration with Aussie 3D, a local 3D print shop, and a 3D printing service in Poland. Aussie 3D was reportedly running six 3D printers around the clock to get the pieces done in time.

The completed dress brings together the 3D printed rubber butterflies in a darkly magical way. Though not real, the effect of over a hundred black butterflies draped over a body is striking. The floor-length 3D printed gown, which is estimated to cost around 90,000 AUD, could be Australia’s most significant piece of 3D printed fashion to date.

Esterhuizen believes that 3D printing is going to be a significant part of fashion’s future, and the Australian designer has embraced the ecological potentials of the technology. That is, rather than throw out or scrap failed prints and rafts, Esterhuizen has used the extra plastic to make accessories for the dress, such as a handbag. "In the world that we live in today, we see a lot of fast fashion and…through that, there is a lot of waste," she commented.

Vancouver Fashion Week will mark the designer’s first international event, though we can’t imagine it will be her last. Esterhuizen, who founded her own clothing label MAAK just after graduating, will undoubtedly continue to impress with her 3D printed garments. If her dress is any indication, she’s got some serious talent.

Michael Slavica, who helped 3D print the dress at Aussie 3D, also sees strong potential for 3D printing within the fashion industry, and has even looked ahead to the potentials of 4D printed fashion.

As he told Australian press, “Once we have mastered 3D printing clothing, we will bring in the 4D aspects, which means it is shape changing…Imagine a dress with flowers all over it, and it's a black dress, and when the model walks out onto the runway and when she gets to the end, it's hit with an electric current and all the flowers open up and you see a coloured dress.”

"We are in that really cool stage where we get to learn, experiment and hopefully we can bring this to life,” he added.

For those lucky enough to be attending Vancouver Fashion Week from March 20-26, keep an eye open for Esterhuizen’s 3D printed butterfly dress. We’re sure it will amaze!

Photos: ABC News, Alkira Reinfrank



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Tom wrote at 3/19/2017 10:56:42 AM:

The print quality looks terrible in that close-up shot of the print bed. And "rubber"?

Alex wrote at 3/17/2017 3:25:19 AM:


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