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Blog Post By Catherine Carter

3D Print - A runway success?

As the fashion world descends on London this week, it is the exciting 3D printed creations that Kimberley Ovitz  showcased at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) earlier in the month that could signal the commercial opportunities for the printing industry.

Kimberley Ovitz developed a range of form-fitting jewellery for her AW13 collection and produced it with Shapeways   – a marketplace and community that offers access to 3D printing using over 30 different materials including metals, and ceramics. Her collection features the Coelom Bracelet, and Squama Ring, in stainless steel or flexible nylon, that spiral around the pointer finger and hand. There is also a Thana Earcuff and Spicules Earhook that doesn’t require any piercing. And at between £22 to $95 the prices are not hugely prohibitive.

Shapeways discussed 3D fashion with designers Michael Schmidt (creator of Lady Gaga’s bubble dress), Anna Sheffield, and Chris Habana as part of a one-day NYFW event. It also saw the designers and CAD experts help guests create their own 3D printed products, and culminated with the completion of a printed dress designed by Schmidt and Francis Bitonti.

Kimberley is not the first to see the potential for the technology. Dutch designer Iris van Herpen’s Paris Fashion Week collaboration in January featured a 3D printed skirt and cape created with artist, architect, designer, and professor Neri Oxman from MIT's Media Lab, printed by Stratasys. She also presented a dress designed in collaboration with Austrian architect Julia Koerner, currently lecturer at UCLA Los Angeles, and 3D printed by Materialise.

Interest in this area of design and production has escalated rapidly following the 3D Print Show in London last autumn. And if 3D printing is making its presence felt in one of the most cynical environments – fashion – what impact is it set to make in the commercial world of print?
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alex@vanbienen.net   View users other comments

Monday, 18 Feb 2013 13:55 GMT
User since 18/02/2013

Hi Catherine. In my view there is NO influence on conventional printing here. 3D printing is a fabrication process unrelated to calssic printing.Of course a commercial printer may be interested and may get involved, but that would be on the same footing as anyone else and possibly with a disadvantage to someone with expertise on fabrication. 3D printing is called "printing"and that is where the similarity with classic printing stops :-) Alex van Bienen


Catherine Carter   View users other comments

Monday, 18 Feb 2013 15:02 GMT
User since 18/02/2013

Hi Alex, thanks for reading and I appreciate your responses. I see it is being an 'and' proposition for printers expanding their services - not as a stepping stone to press developments. Initially costs will be the key factor as will the opportunities it may or may not present.

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