Design studio Nervous System has outdone itself with the 3D-printed Kinematic Petals Dress. Combining advanced tech with accessible fashion, the whole garment came out of the printer in one session, ready to wear.
And honestly I'd wear one of these intricate, flowy little numbers in a heartbeat.
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Nervous System was started in 2007 by MIT-educated designers Jessica Rosenkranz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg. The duo, based in Somerville, Mass., draw inspiration from natural phenomena. Previously they designed 3D-printed midsoles for New Balance and a lacy black 3D-printed dress.
For this new dress, they looked to real-life petals, feathers, and scales. Then they developed a textile language for their 3-D printing system called Kinematics, which can turn any 3-D shape into a flexible structure, according to the designers.
Using a full body scan as the starting point, the dress can be customized completely to the wearer through a dedicated design app - including the shape, size, and flow of the "petals." Feeling like spikes? How about scales? The choices seem endless.
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A process called selective laser sintering prints the petal parts by melting together layers of nylon powder with a laser. The dress the designers printed contains more than 1,600 unique pieces interconnected by at least 2,600 hinges, they explain on their site.
The overlapping petals meant they had to find a way to compress the garment for efficient printing at Shapeways factory in New York. Folding the piece like they did with the previous lacy dress wouldn't work so the designers tried rolling it like a carpet instead. This technique allowed them to print inside a machine that's smaller than the unfurled dress, Co.Design's John Brownlee pointed out.
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The stunning Kinematic Petals Dress debuts March 6 at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, where it will be part of the #techstyle exhibit on display through June 10. We plebes must wait to buy a real one, according to Co.Design, but the studio has started selling Kinematics Petals jewelry online. Accessories will also be sold at the museum.
Watch the dress come together here: