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Architectural designer Francis Bitoni has created a 3D printed dress on MakerBot, available now on Thingiverse

Sections: 3D Printing

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There’s been a lot of talk lately about the future of clothing design and the possibility of printing fashion from home. We’ve been hypothesizing how long it would be until 3D printing was there and apparently the answer was… it already is. 

The Bristle Dress

The Bristle Dress

The first “homemade”, or at least “homemaking friendly”, couture 3D printed dress has been printed off of a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer for the New Skins Brumal Bodies: Computational Design for Fashion Winter 2014 workshop held at the Metropolitan Exchange in Brooklyn, N.Y. Designed by Francis Bitoni with the help of students from multiple design industries and using computational design, the Bristle Dress is the first of its kind in the world of desktop 3D printers. As a result, Bitoni envisions a day when anyone can go to Thingiverse.com and shop couture dresses to be delivered to your desktop instantly.

Bitoni is not the first designer to dip his toes into 3D design. High-end fashion designer Iris Van Herpen began sending her 3D printed creations down the runway in 2011.

The Bristle Dress is more comfortable than it looks. The filaments used in the upper and lower parts of the dress are structured yet flexible and, for extra comfort, the skirt is lined with synthetic fur. Though Bitoni is an architectural designer, his movement into 3D printed fashion is seamless as computational fashion design takes more innovation than fashionable ingenuity.

The partnership between fashion and structural experts is a unique one, as the two industries have rarely crossed paths in the past. Frankly, I couldn’t think of a less relatable pair of designers than an architect and a couturist. Perhaps that’s what makes the relationship so fascinating and wonderful? After all, genetic variety in any new beast makes it stronger. It’s science.

According to Business Wire, Bitoni sees these new innovations as an opportunity to create new aesthetic languages. His reach extends through architecture and fashion and even further into product design, of which Francis Bitoni Studio has released its first ever commercially available collection, viewable at francisbitoni.com.

What’s more, the Bristle Dress is available for download and print on Thingiverse.com; you can even customize it.

Does this movement into desktop 3D printed fashion mean a world in which we all dress like we’re from the Capitol of Panem? Maybe! But I wouldn’t be mad about it. Besides, I can’t imagine textile 3D printing is that far off. The technology exists and creating it was the hard part. Now it’s up to the innovators of the world to refine the technology as a team to make it into a mutually beneficial tool for both designer and fashionista.

I see myself printing new ensembles out each night for the next day in just one or two decades, max. That includes shoes, clothes, accessories, and outerwear. If this isn’t the case by the time I’m 40, I’ll be writing an aggressively worded letter to the brains behind the tech.

I feel passionately hopeful since we’re already kind of there. Thanks, Francis Bitoni!

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