Be Future-Fashion Forward With 3-D Printed Dresses

Science has determined that soon we'll be able to 3-D print out whole new organs for our bodies. But what are our freshly-invigorated forms going to wear? 3-D printing now has an answer for that too.

As shown by burlesque performer, "muse and model" Dita Von Teese in New York City, 3-D printing proved that isn't just in fashion, it's creating fashion. Her $100,000 3-D printed mesh dress, inspired by the ever-escalating Fibonacci sequence, conforms precisely to her form thanks to virtual technology imbuing the dress with next-generation design elements.

“It’s that continuous variation — managing the complexity of the subtle adjustments in form to respond to curvature of the body, how things tighten or narrow, where we need more flexibility or less flexibility of the mesh, all that was able to be tuned to a really high level,” says Francis Bitonti, who along with fellow designer Michael Schmidt created the dress using various 3-D imaging software programs.

According to, the process was elaborate. First, a 3-D model of the dress was built by Bitonti from an original sketch by Schmidt, using the Maya design program to custom tailor it to Von Teese's figure. Using Rhino, a software program that works to intricately detail surfaces, he fleshed out the 2,633 "rings" that interlock to form the garment. The dress was then sintered on an EOS P350 laser printer by Shapeways and manually assembled from the 17 different sections of material.

The dress, while expensive, could set the stage for a whole new category of couture. Shapeways designer Evangelist Duann Scott enthused, “Traditionally, all garments are either a weave or a stitch...with 3-D printing, we can…introduce something completely different. So we can grow designs rather than just using something that’s centuries-old technology. It’s a whole way to move forward in fashion and clothing and textiles.”

The 3-D technology of the future holds many can stop sweatshop labor yet quickly create necessary items when none are available...could its refinement and tailored-tech finally be able to solve the problem of finding that perfect pair of jeans, too?

Von Teese's fabulous fabricated frock.

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