On Monday we experienced another first for multi-material 3D printing. For the first time ever, a multi-material 3D printed cape and skirt were featured on the Paris catwalk.

Dutch designer van Herpen’s eleven-piece collection featured two 3D printed ensembles, including an elaborate skirt and cape created in collaboration with artist, architect, designer and professor Neri Oxman from MIT’s* Media Lab, and 3D printed by Stratasys. An intricate dress was also designed in collaboration with Austrian architect Julia Koerner, currently lecturer at UCLA Los Angeles and 3D printed by Materialise.

For a complete update on the show, here's our very own Daniel Dikovsky, Material R&D Team Leader, who attended the show. Here he gives us his own personal account and some unique back-stage photos from the event:

"For me, being in Paris immediately reminds me of where modern art and design came from. But this time, as a 3D printing professional, I looked upon things with a slightly different take - the combination of art and new materials enabled by 3D printing technology.


Fitting on the 3D printed dress backstage


As I made my way through the snowy Paris streets after a visit to the Salvador Dali museum in Monmartre, I was surprised to discover that Dali didn’t think of himself as a sculptor at all. Actually, he had to rely greatly on the expertise of craftsmen in the selection of his materials and in fabricating his geometries. His glass sculptures, for example, are full of bubbles, because of the “glass-paste molding” method that was used to produce them. So being unable to change the material Dali just changed his attitude and claimed that the bubbles contributed to the special visual effects of his work.

Today I attended the “Voltage” haute couture show by Iris van Herpen in the Le Grand Hotel. It was the first time a Connex multi-material 3D printed work was presented on a catwalk. For me, the combination of 3D printing with art and design symbolizes the great leap that we’ve made in our ability to bring ideas to life, while providing a level of technological assistance to the artistic process.

The Objet Connex platform is the first tool to allow artists to customize shape and constitution at the same time. T
he artist is no longer limited to a set of materials, but can design and fabricate his or her own materials as easily as  sketching the object’s form. The use of multiple materials within a 3D printing process is unique to Connex. It allows designers to define specific ‘Digital Materials’ in a process that is similar to existing CAD tools and then apply them to the different parts of the 3D shape they intend to print.

Stratasys Objet Connex 3D Printed Cape Stratasys Objet Connex 3D Printed Cape

I believe that in the future we will see more artists using 3D printing platforms, simply because it allows them to achieve a new level of freedom in what they do. They will not have to rely on the limited selection of existing crafting processes and materials, but will be able to design their own palettes and combinations, in a way similar to a painter mixing colors on his palette. In this way I believe we will see very complex designs opening up - and many of these being created by a single artist."

The 3D printed skirt and cape were produced using Stratasys’ unique Objet Connex multi-material 3D printing technology, which allows a variety of material properties to be printed in a single build.

Watch this space for more exciting stuff to come from the Paris Fashion show!

Stratasys 3D printed dress detail

Extreme close-up of the Stratasys 3D printed dress

Stratasys 3D printed dress close-up Stratasys 3D printed dress in close-up