Jul 20, 2016 | By Alec

Within the 3D printing community, where accuracy and reproducibility are the highest virtues, the 3D printing pen doesn’t have a great reputation. Obviously, the 3D printing pen’s inability to make perfect shapes each and every time is its biggest downside – but then who’s handwriting is 100 percent perfect? But as the fantastic creations by a team of Swiss designers emphasize, 3D printing pens are still very potent making tools. For the four designers from the Canvas School of Fashion and Design in Lausanne, Switzerland, have used the pens to make gorgeous 3D printed dresses and corsets that are so precise that they resemble delicate lace.

The designers all come from the Canvas School of Fashion and Design in Lausanne – a school known for having its roots in the fashion traditions of all neighboring countries and for creating a multicultural synthesis of styles. As a result, they are also progressive and were keen to incorporate 3D printing into their repertoire. “Canvas is dedicated to 3D fashion creation, a specific training course in the heart of its educational activities. The first students of the school mastered already this innovative technique, and have realized their premier creations,” says director Giovanna Testini. “The effect is surprising: as long as it is untouched, we think and we see a lace dress ... yet at the same time, it is pure plastic!”

Of course the fashion world is no stranger to 3D printing, but this usually means very precise, smooth and accurate prints. At Canvas, 3D printing first appeared in the design of perfume bottles about two years ago. But under the guidance of London-born design teacher Robert-Anthony Bunoan this team went in another direction by using a of Scribbler 3D Pen. Back in September, Bunoan assembled three other designers – design students Nathalie Boverat (lead designer), Laurène Dupuis and Pierrine Pfister – and started work on the first 3D printed corset made in Switserland. The project recently received a new boost, resulting in the gorgeous 3D printed dresses (one hybrid of cotton and plastic) and corsets visible here – all completed over May and June.

As Bunoan explained, inspiration was found in the nature surrounding them. “I live on a mountain, next to a forest at a 1000 meters in altitude. I love spending time around 1-2 hours or more per week looking, listening, smelling and touching nature,” he tells 3ders.org. “Last July, I studied and read a 400 page book on Celtic origins, codes and designs. I had a dream that inspired me, to draw a mask, a neck accessory and a corset.”

Starting out with a series of sketches and a paper maquette, Bunoan’s students started 3D printing a series of structures on chairs, cardboard and spaghetti – all to understand the possibilities of 2D and 3D forms. “We've combined what we learnt about the statics engineering with the inspirational forest forms to make sure that the structure held in place. Then we passed this information around within the group of three students and myself, to develop two prototype dresses and two prototype corsets,” the design teacher explains.

The hybrid dress with white cotton.

The 3D corsets were effectively smaller test versions for the 3D dresses, and BunoanI’s students focused on the first corset with overlapping 3D patterns, while the design teacher himself focused on the second prototype corset, sans overlap. And as they found, the 3D printing pen is actually a very useful tool that was simple to use. “I showed them how to draw and they drew anything with ease. It was 100 to 1000 times faster than a 3D printer, with the advantage that each pattern was individually different and unique, just like trees, leaves, and flowers in the forest,” Bunoan said. In contrast, the 3D printers used for the perfume bottles were much more challenging in use. “I had to teach my students how to draw in 3D with Blender. We made sure there were zero holes in the 3D model. We had to learn to calibrate the 3D printer, then learn the filament melting points and etc.,” the teacher said.

For these fantastic creations, Nathalie Boverat worked hard on the corset, which was so promising that the project was relaunched in March 2016. “We saw the corset was possible to design and dreamt of something bigger to design, and the 3D dress came into view,” Bunoan says. Laurène Dupuis worked on the first dress, while Pierrine Pfister worked on the hybrid dress of white cotton and integrated 3D printed flowers.

And the results are very impressive; the completely 3D printed dress even features a pattern of about 200 oval 3D pieces. But it was made through the same workflow as the corsets: sketch the model on paper, sketch and then 3D print different tension force-holding ovals and find out which is the strongest. Then they took the mannequin as a template, drew the ovals by hand and soldered them together around the mannequin with the 3D printing pen. Finally, a dress opening was added, made from a zipper, a cord or elastic. All in all, the final corset took four days to produce (as it combined multiple templates), while the dress was 3D printed in just three days using a single pattern.

As Bunoan explained, the 3D printing pen played a crucial role in the entire process. “The benefit of the 3D pen is that it is faster and is natural way of drawing and creating, without learning computer languages, software or other machinery,” he says. Post processing also required no time at all. In fact, the design teacher is already working on four follow-up project all linked to 3D printing pens. Perhaps it’s time to redeem this freehand 3D printing tool?



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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