You are now witnessing the dawn of practical 3D-printed clothing

Nervous Systems solves the puzzle of making practical, wearable plastics
You are now witnessing the dawn of practical 3D-printed clothing

The idea of wearing and actual piece of plastic as clothing is no longer a joke, thanks to 3D printing and some creative left field thinking.

While only time will tell if we’re looking at the future of clothing, we now know that it’s not a total pipe dream. Although nothing beats having comfortable fibres protecting your modesty, design studio Nervous Systems wanted to see how far they could push limits of 3D printing.

Originally developed as part of a project for Google to promote Android phones, Nervous System worked out a way to print bracelets on MakerBots using the concept of origami, and hit upon the idea of using it for garments.

You are now witnessing the dawn of practical 3D-printed clothing

The result is this stunning piece of work, which behaves somewhat like real fabric. Quite a fair bit of tech was required for this, especially for the design software that made it even conceptually possible. Called Kinematics, the bespoke software utilises origami techniques to come up with a novel solution to what we thought was a physical limitations of the material, and in the process, pushed the limits of what we thought was possible with 3D printing.

The process of printing the dress is interesting in itself. It required no assembly, unlike most other designs. Kinematics simulates folding the dress into small printed shape, and that allowed it to be printed with a Shapeways commercial 3D printer; a process that takes 44 hours.

The result was so stunning that the garment as well as its Github repository was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art to be included in its permanent collection. For US$3000 it’s still some way off from becoming mainstream; for now Nervous Systems are looking at improving the design and shedding more weight from the dress as well as speeding up the process and expanding the range of materials they can use.

Perhaps those plastic-looking clothing from old sci-fi flicks weren’t too far off the mark, eh?

[Source: Wired, Mashable, 3D Printing Industry]