Competition is the fuel of innovation.  Fashion competitions such as the annual International Woolmark competition have helped launch the careers of numerous designers including Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent.  What talents will we see emerging from 3D Printing Fashion competitions?

To mark the opening of a new $30 million Additive Manufacturing Centre, Nanyang Technological University of Singapore hosted a 3D printing festival, exhibiting 3D printed fashions by award-winning fashion designer Melinda Looi and artworks from Italian designer and architect Niccolo Casas. The Fashion Show, displaying winning pieces from earlier Materialise competitions as well as entries to the Singapore International Fashion 3D Printing Competition, was the highlight of the festival.  

Running for over 5 months, the competition attracted entries from Asia, Australia and US.  Competitors answered the challenge of creating “attractive fashion designs which are water-inspired, created using 3D printing technologies, to embody the spirit of sustainable earth” with an additional caveat of “the design should respect the local culture and be sensitive to the local community”.

XYZ Workshop Bodice

XYZ Workshop Bodice

The winning design came from a team in Australia,  Elena Low Lee Woei and Lim Kae Woei of the XYZ Workshop.  In Elena’s words:

While researching on water technologies and sustainability, we were compelled by an image of the electrolysis of water to create hydrogen. The idea that pure clean energy can be a harnessed from water has great potential in the field of sustainable energy.  Focusing on the water molecules’ transient change of state, we express this in the design with a series of solid and “open” spheres.  The network of “open” spheres created a lace-like fabric, which created a contrast between the solid and transparent pieces. At a micro level, stillness is embodied by the ripple-like patterns, which has a texture that alludes to a traditional textile weave.  The silhouette of the design echoes a traditional Chinese cheongsam, creating an intriguing dialogue between tradition and technology.”

XYZ Workshop team with Bodice

XYZ Workshop team with Bodice

The bodice is intricate and reminds me of stiff over starched lace, unlike anything we’ve seen so far in 3D printed fashion.  The most amazing aspect of the piece is not only the work and time that went into its production, but also that this was made on an Ultimaker desktop printer.  Using Rhino 3D modeling software, the design was printed in 26 different sections and took approximately 170 hours to print in Flexible PLA (a version consisting of only 5 parts was also created for a large format 3D printer).  

XYZ Workshop Bodice detail

XYZ Workshop Bodice detail

As the makers reflect: 

“We wanted to showcase how disruptive 3D printing has become and how it has empowered the end user. We had challenged ourselves to create the design on a simple desktop 3D printer and the experience has proven to us that you don’t require access to an expensive large 3D printer to create unique wearable pieces. Merely using highly accessible domestic 3D printers we were able to create a fashion piece that reflected our vision.

 

Here is an excellent video detailing the creation process:

Elena and Kae Woei stated that the $10,000 prize will be applied to developing programs teaching children about 3D printing.  XYZ Workshop are also looking into creating a teaching program aimed at teaching young kids to ‘make + learn’ with the help of 3D printing.  Additional XYZ Worship work can be found at www.xyzworkshop.com and http://www.shapeways.com/shops/xyzworkshop.

The commendation prize was won by a 7 member student team of Nanyang Technological University , who created a pretty chain mail like dress based on a Chinese character for water.

NTU Water Dress

NTU Water Dress

Here is a link to video coverage of the event

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Competition is the fuel of innovation.  Fashion competitions such as the annual International Woolmark competition have helped launch the careers of numerous designers including Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent.  What talents will we see emerging from 3D Printing Fashion competitions? To mark the opening of a new $30 million Additive Manufacturing Centre, Nanyang...