A Model Design
A 3D printed bib Nakazato created for his fashion line
Yuima Nakazato, a Japanese fashion designer, launched his career in 2009 with his first collection in Paris. After receiving numerous awards and accolades – and even creating stage costumes for Lady Gaga – he strived to continue to push fashion forward.
Enter 3D printing. For his 2014 line, Nakazato used an Objet500 Connex 3D Printer to create his line of neo-futuristic sportswear – a Japan first for the fashion industry.
Photography by Yasunari Kikuma. The 3D printed bib added a key look – and feel – of Nakazato’s line.
One of Nakazato’s signatures is his use of nontraditional materials. Instead of using conventional textiles, he consciously applies hard materials such as metals and plastics to dressmaking, giving the resulting clothes one-of-a-kind structural shapes and textures.
Nakazato based the concept for his 2014 collection on a vision of a neo-futuristic sport: “Young street punks, riding on motorcycles, playing a basketball-like sports game in an underground dune stadium.” Nakazato designed original uniforms and used the multi-material 3D printer to create bibs that combine numbers and images of exposed human muscles, symbolizing the players’ wild passion and energy.
Sun Junjie, Nakazato’s collaborator for the 2014 line, used 3D CAD software to give shape to Nakazato’s vision. “Without the Objet500 Connex 3D printing technology, it would never have been possible to make these complicated geometries in such a short timeframe,” said Sun. “I made two or three design iterations with prototypes for each piece before it was completed.”
Conceptual sketches by Nakazato
To create the muscle fiber for the bibs, Sun 3D printed rubber-like and transparent materials to achieve the clear, soft and flexible parts. The 3D printer allowed the complex geometries of the basketball court design to blend seamlessly with the flexible textures needed for the muscled bibs. The bibs were then colored to achieve the finished look. Sun credited the 3D printer for making fashion manufacturing more creative through combining different materials. “It provides amazing 16-micron precision and multi-material capability.”
Nakazato believes that the 3D printer will help meet customers’ tight deadlines, possibly even with one-day deliveries. “Currently, it’s impossible for us to satisfy these types of requests because it would take days to make a dress and ship it to Hollywood from Tokyo. However, when we begin making dresses with 3D printing, all we will have to do is to send the customer the 3D CAD files by e-mail. She could 3D print it in Hollywood and someone could wear it on the red carpet the next day.”
Sun said, “Innovative technologies enable us to go beyond traditional limits. They will not only change reality, but also the world of imagination.”
“3D printing is revolutionizing the fashion industry,” said Nakazato. “Traditionally, dressmaking works on planes or fabrics to make 3D shapes. But with more advanced materials available in the future – such as materials with the feel of fabric – using a 3D printer, it would be possible to create a dress of any shape instantly, exactly as we imagine it.”