Sep.6, 2013

It's Fashion Week in New York this week. Francis Bitonti, a multidisciplinary designer from New York City, organized a three-week workshop at the Pratt Institute's DAHRC that resulted in the creation of a 3D-printed dress.

The Verlan Dress, designed in the New Skins: Computational Design for Fashion workshop led by designer Francis Bitonti of the famed Dita Dress, is the first creation to ever use MakerBot Flexible Filament, a new adaptable filament material made out of polyester.

According to MakerBot, this 1.75mm Flexible Filament, which will launch to the public soon, is more flexible than PLA. It has a soft, flexible feel, and is even pliable when exposed to hot water (it can be reshaped and form-fitted). The material was commonly used for sutures in the medical field, mouth guards, prosthetics and non-woven fabrics.

It is so versatile that it can be repurposed from its origin. Non-toxic and fully biodegradable, the MakerBot Flexible Filament provides a smooth finished surface and works well for form-fitted or personalized 3D prints. "MakerBot Flexible Filament is different than traditional 3D printing filaments that are solid and stiff after extrusion; with its flexibility and suppleness, this could revolutionize 3D printing." said Bre Pettis, MakerBot's CEO.

Bionti's designers built this dress with two MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printers. The MakerBot Replicator 2s printed continually for close to 24 hours a day for two weeks -- a total of 400 hours of printing -- to create the dress.

The dress was made of 59 3D-printed pieces: 20 from PLA (for the harder, more skeleton-like sections), and 39 from MakerBot Flexible Filament (for the more dynamic, muscle-like parts). The pieces were glued together with Loctite Two Part Professional Heavy Duty 5 Minute Epoxy.

All the parts of the dress took 24 hours to assemble. The MakerBot Flexible Filament was tied up the sides with leather straps, and the top was snapped into place with a plastic button.

Photo credit: Christrini.

Bitonti's students used Autodesk's Maya software, along with Rhino and ZBrush, to create their designs. The resulting Verlan Dress is featured in a documentary video (below) on the New Skins workshop design process and will be showcased at a Bitonti exhibit later this fall at the Pratt Institute in New York City. The dress' design is posted on Thingiverse.

The current dimensions are for a 5'10" woman in a size 4, but you can tailor the dress to your own dimensions using the Blender file.


Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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Feetzies wrote at 9/19/2013 7:55:30 AM:

This is an excellent representation of 3D printing and it's capabilities! And the elastomeric filament is awesome! Free creation is amazing. Good work guys!

JD90 wrote at 9/9/2013 4:23:04 AM:

I really don't think this is a good representation of 3D printing. It's not a very attractive piece.

JD90 wrote at 9/7/2013 4:41:44 PM:

I don't think we should be thinking of a plastic exoskeletons a "dress".

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