jpeg-1

Back in middle-school Home Ec, while we were trying to figure out how to sew ourselves a pair of basic flannel pajama pants, never in a million years did we imagine that we鈥檇 be able to set the Singer aside and 3D print a wearable plastic dress. But that鈥檚 exactly what鈥檚 possible. And no, it鈥檚 not stiff and it won鈥檛 make us look like robots while we鈥檙e walking. It鈥檚 created with Nervous System kinematics technology that allows 3D printed clothes to move just聽like fabric.

2

The filament and technology behind 3D printers are just as important as the printers themselves. There have been great advancements in filaments (*cough* magnetic filament *cough*), but kinematics tech gives makers (literal) flexibility for creating products beyond聽jewelry.

jpeg

The clothing starts out as a 3D model in a CAD program and is broken into triangular figures through kinematics (which are like pixels, but triangles instead of squares). Each triangular 鈥減ixel鈥 is printed with hinges on every side, which allows it to flow like fabric. And because it鈥檚 as flexible as fabric, the kinematically created garments can be printed out 鈥減re-folded.鈥 In other words, your average-sized 3D printer can print out a long flowy dress or an oversized sweater because this tech prints in layers 鈥 giving it the look of folded clothes and reducing the printed volume by 85%.

1

Currently, it takes two days and a helping hand from Shapeways to create one 3D printed dress that costs $3,000. Shapeways and Nervous System are aiming to further develop the kinematics technology in order to make printing clothes more comfortable with materials other than plastic, more cost efficient and more flexible.

closeup-128,huge.2x.1417364320

Although it may seem like a little while before Nervous System鈥檚 dresses become affordable, we can鈥檛 wait to see this technology advance. Perhaps it鈥檚 a little too early鈥 but we鈥檙e hoping we can make some light cardigans come spring.

What are your thoughts about kinematics technology? Any ideas of what you would want to create?