Few of the medieval Europe, seeing for the first time the wonder of the gothic stained glass cathedrals, knew that they were looking at the glimmers of a new age.  Yet how many of us now, in all our learning and sophistication, will recognize the dawning of the New Renaissance?

"Stained Glass" 3D printed corset by Michaella Janse van Vuuren

“Stained Glass” 3D printed corset by Michaella Janse van Vuuren

The 3D printed “Stained Glass” corset is a new beginning, a window into our very near future. No longer will an anonymous hand, a world removed from the final wearer, weave the cloth and sew a rack-bound garment.  Rather, you will have a chance to collaborate with a designer in creating a perfectly fitted piece, seamlessly produced right in front of your eyes.  A future that is as drastically different from our time as our time is from the pre-industrial age.

Part of the 3D Printed Fashion collection dubbed “Garden of Eden”, it is the stunning work of a South African renaissance woman Dr. Michaella Janse van Vuuren.  Dr. Janse van Vuuren describes how she came to create the collection: “I am a designer, artist and engineer. 3D printing allows me to seamlessly combine these seemingly disparate interests. I am able to explore my creative passions and try my hand at many different disciplines. I have designed lighting, jewelry; I have created acclaimed artworks and have done a post doctorate in medical implant design. This year I become a fashion designer.

"Garden of Eden" 3D Printed shoes by Michaella Janse van Vuuren

“Garden of Eden” 3D Printed shoes by Michaella Janse van Vuuren

All of the pieces incorporate vivid colors and imagery inspired by the Biblical story – with a fresh, modern twist of “Eve subjugating the snake”.  The shoes of the collection are especially tempting with incredible detail, vivid color, and a contemporary silhouette.

"Garden of Eden" 3D Printed shoes by Michaella Janse van Vuuren

“Garden of Eden” 3D Printed shoes by Michaella Janse van Vuuren

The tremendous effort of making the pieces required an international team of experts, and a new way to collaborate across geographic and disciplinary boundaries. As Dr. Janse van Vuuren reflects: “The fashion pieces were brought to life by a virtual collaboration over 3 continents and made their debut in a third. The project took over 6 months and many hours of hard work doing the 3D digital sculpture and CAD designs in South Africa, Dr Daniel Dikovsky and Tal Ely from Stratasys on the Objet500 Connex3 in Israel, and Turlif Vilbrandt from Uformia (http://www.uformia.com/) on customization in Norway.

"Stained Glass" 3D printed corset by Michaella Janse van Vuuren

“Stained Glass” 3D printed corset by Michaella Janse van Vuuren

The “Stained Glass” 3D printed corset is unlike any garment crated before: it is colorful, flexible, and it bends in all the right places while maintaining its shape – all without a single stitch. As most of the pieces of the “Garden of Eden” collection, the front of the corset was a single print – the piece was 3D printed directly with full color using the Stratasys Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer (the multi-color color upgrade to the gray-scale Connex that was used for the Iris van Herpen and Neri Oxman collaboration).  The unique Objet 3D printing technology allowed to incorporate flexible as well as rigid materials while introducing different colors as part of the process, all in one printing, with little to no post-print finishing required.

The “Stained Glass” corset represents a brand new way of creation; a new way of working together, combined with a revolutionary new way of making physical objects, resulting in a beautiful and wearable, one of a kind fashion forward garment.  The future starts now.

Here is an interview with Dr. Janse van Vuuren, filmed at the 3D Print Show in NYC, Feb ’14.

Photo Credit:
3D design Michaella Janse van Vuuren
Customisation  Uformia
3D Printing Stratasys Connex3 
Model, Lerato Moloi Heads Models
Photographer Merwelene van der Merwe studio (Nikon ambassador)
Assistant Themba Mokase
Hair + make-up,  Marilyn du Preez 
Clothing Designer, Clive Rundle
Product photography credits: Yoram Reshef  

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Few of the medieval Europe, seeing for the first time the wonder of the gothic stained glass cathedrals, knew that they were looking at the glimmers of a new age.  Yet how many of us now, in all our learning and sophistication, will recognize the dawning of the New...