It’s Friday night. You have places to be, people to see and nothing to wear. But don’t worry! Thanks to the incredible minds behind Nervous System — a Massachusetts-based design studio with a flare for art and for science — you don’t even have to stand confused in front of your closet anymore. You can stand in front of your 3D printer and strut out the door in this fabulous look.
That’s right, it’s a 3D-printed dress.
Okay it’s not quite as easy as that but someday it might be. Right now, the biggest stumbling block to 3D-printed fabric is the size of the printing chamber on the printer (anything the machine will fabricate has to fit inside of it so something big would require a large chamber) and the fact that, well, 3D printers create items in hard plastic. Any girl who has ever worn something as restrictive as SPANX will tell you that clothing without some bend to it is just uncomfortable.
To address both of these issues, the brilliant folks at Nervous System teamed up with NYC’s Shapeways Factory to create this gorgeous dress. It is made up of 2,279 interlocking triangles that are printed as one piece in the 3D printer. Because the triangles are hinged together in the design, the creators were able to virtually collapse the design of the dress into a smaller size before they hit print. This allowed them to make the item they printed small enough for a printer chamber that was considerably smaller than what would be needed for a fully stretched-out dress. Those hinges also make the completed design foldable. Here’s more on the making of this beauty.
This dress is gorgeous, and this girl is eager for the day when she can stand at a computer and select and print her dress to size without having to shop through what feels like 800 stores and as many dressing rooms with cruel lighting and evil mirrors. But two questions come to mind with this initial success story of a 3D printed dress: How loud is all the clacking really? And where are the pockets?