Fashion’s biggest annual event showcases digital design and manufacturing

Published 07 May 2019

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: design, 3d printing, materials, fashion, protolabs, ge, ge additive, fashion design, met ball

Fashion, that most stubborn of 2D design industries, has relented somewhat to include digital design and fabrication methods for this year’s Met Ball - the most globally gossiped about celebrity frock fest.

Most notably taking advantage of 3D printing and scanning were dresses and accoutrements by American designer Zac Posen, who dressed British supermodel Jourdan Dunn, actresses Nina Dobrev, Katie Holmes, Julia Garner and Bollywood icon, Deepika Padukone.

The garments and accessories differed from full rose petal dresses to delicate cufflinks - with the production and materials blending with traditional fabrics and dressmaking to blend (rather than the typical ‘statement’ 3D printed piece usually consisting of a geometric shape, built of Nylon and plonked on someone’s head for the sake of it).

Teaming up with GE Additive and Protolabs, the story of three of the key pieces is below:

Jourdan Dunn wore a custom Zac Posen x GE Additive x Protolabs rose gown. The gown features 21 total petals, averaging 20 inches in size and weighing 1 lb. each.

Every petal is unique and fastened in place by a modular cage that is invisible from the outside and built to a 3D re-creation of Jourdan’s body.

The petals are made of Accura Xtreme White 200 durable plastic and printed on a stereolithography (SLA) machine. The petals are finished with primer and color shifting automotive paint (DuPont “Twilight Fire” Chromalusion). The cage that fastens the petals are made of Titanium (Ti-64) printed on a GE Additive Arcam EBM machine.

The printing and finish of the rose gown took over 1,100 hours and was printed at Protolabs’ 3D printing facility in North Carolina, one of the largest in the world.

Nina Dobrev wore a custom Zac Posen x GE Additive x Protolabs bustier. The bustier is a clear printed dress with four-piece assembly for custom fit.

The interior is designed to perfectly match Nina Dobrev’s 3D scan data. The bustier is made of Somos Watershed XC 11122 plastic and printed on a stereolithography (SLA) machine. It is finished by wet hand sanding and sprayed with a clear coat to give it a glass appearance.

The printing and finish of the bustier took over 200 hours and was printed at Protolabs’ 3D printing facility in Germany.

Katie Holmes wore a custom Zac Posen gown with a Zac Posen x GE Additive x Protolabs palm leaf collar accessory.

The pearlescent purple palm leaves are draped over the shoulders and attached to the gown at the neckline. The palm leaves are made of Accura 60 plastic and printed on a stereolithography (SLA) machine.

The structure is finished with pearlescent purple paint (Pantone 8104C) and holds the custom Zac Posen water coloured tulle gown at the clavicle.

The printing and finish of the palm leaves took over 56 hours and was printed at Protolabs in North Carolina.

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