Tag Archives: Dita Von Teese

3D Printed Fashion: From Fantasy Gowns to Accessible Couture – Inside 3D Printing Chicago

3D Printed Fashion Dita Von Teese

3D Printed Fashion Stuns in Chicago

As part of our coverage of this week’s Inside 3D Printing Conference in Chicago, On 3D Printing brings you an industry perspective on the latest developments in 3D printing for fashion and retail.  In addition to providing an in depth review of their successful collaboration with Shapeways in creating the first fully-articulated 3D printed gown, designers Michael Schmidt and Francis Bitonti encouraged the 3D printing industry to continue its pursuit of applications in the fashion industry.

Schmidt and Bitonti’s articulated gown was custom designed and famously worn by burlesque star and style icon Dita Von Teese, and unveiled this past March during a showcase event at the Ace Hotel in New York City.  Describing the dress as a “flight of fantasy” inspired by Fibonacci’s golden ratio, Schmidt welcomed the opportunity to work with 3D printing technology.

Schmidt and Bitonti emphasized printing process and material selection as critical to their success. Having ruled out a range of the available 3D printing technologies as incompatible with their design ends, they moved forward with laser sintering, which they felt would provide the necessary flexibility.  While it took several months to develop the concept and code for the dress, the printing process itself took only four days.  Because the dress applied the Fibonacci’s sequence throughout the design to create a truly custom fit to Ms. Von Teese, no two parts of the dress are alike.

All told, the dress is made of 3,000 printed nylon joints, which were printed in 17 sections using a selective laser sintering process, whereby layers of nylon powder are selectively fused together by a laser.  While most custom gowns require at least several rounds of fitting to ensure a perfect fit, Schmidt and Bitonti were pleased to discover that “the dress fit really well right out of the box.”

Illustrating the importance of post-processing and hand finishing, Schmidt and Bitonti indicated that the printed pieces were expertly extracted at Shapeways to remove the nylon powder residue from within each joint in the dress.  After the sections were printed and shipped to Schmidt’s studio, they were rip dyed, joined together by a hinged mechanism (also 3D printed) and hand encrusted with over 25,000 Swarovski crystals.

While Schmidt and Bitonti’s articulable dress stands as a testament to what’s possible, the designers also addressed the limitations of current technology.  ”We are limited at the moment to these fantastical garments.  We aren’t able to print in materials that have the qualities of a successful garment until we develop these materials to meet the needs of the body itself – that’s the holy grail,” Schmidt said.

One of the biggest issues in Schmidt and Bitonti’s view is the need to build fluidity of movement into the printing process itself, as the current selective laser sintering process renders the nylon powder stiff.  They also noted that current technology does not provide the option to print in organic materials like cotton or silk.  Both designers are hopeful for the future of the technology, however, and are currently developing a line of jewelry.

Below is a video of the 3D printed dress being displayed at the Inside 3D Printing conference in Chicago.


Authored by On 3D Printing contributor Lisa M. Pérez, co-founder of Heart Design Inc.


Register for Inside 3D Printing Chicago: July 10-11 – Discount Available

Inside 3D Printing Chicago

Inside 3D Printing Chicago

Inside 3D Printing Conference attracted 3,000 attendees and top exhibitors like MakerBot and 3D Systems to its inaugural event in New York. Now, after months of exponential growth and tremendous 3D printing coverage in the news, the conference will head to Chicago this July 10-11.

The topic has piqued the interest and involvement of government officials like Congressman Bill Foster of the 11th Congressional District of Illinois who will discuss digital manufacturing and its connection to policy, education, and jobs at the event.

Inside 3D Printing Chicago Guitar

Greg Diamond of 3D Systems plays a 3D printed guitar in the exhibit hall of Inside 3D Printing Conference in New York City.

Industry players, innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors will meet in Chicago to discuss the impact of 3D printing on various fields. Speakers include Scott Crump, Founder and Chairman of the Board at Stratasys, Ralph L. Resnick, President & Executive Director of the National Center for Defense Manufacturing & Machining (NCDMM), and Cydni Tetro, Entrepreneur in Residence for Disney.

The event will even feature the designer and architect who created style icon Dita von Teese’s famous 3D printed dress to discuss 3D printing’s influence on fashion and art.

Sessions include Industrial Scale Additive Manufacturing Technologies, 3D Printing and the Future (or Demise) of Intellectual Property, and The Printed Athlete: How 3D Printing is Changing the Nature of Sports. View the full program here.

Inside 3D Printing Chicago Cody Wilson

Cody Wilson, Founder and Director of Defense Distributed, discusses 3D printed guns during his session at the Inside 3D Printing Conference in New York City.

PERK: You’ll save 15% off your Gold Passport to the event with code ON3D. Register today.


Supermodel Coco Rocha Loves 3D Printing and Shapeways

Coco Rocha 3D Printing

Supermodel Coco Rocha and 3D Printing

Shapeways had a special visitor to their 3D printing factory in New York City: Supermodel Coco Rocha. Coco is interested in how 3D printing will change the world of fashion.

After learning how to program Shapeways’ 3D printers, Coco was entertained by stories of 3D printed fashion such as the gown for Dita Von Teese, the collection with Kimberly Ovitz and thousands of designs from the Shapeways community inspiring designers around the world.

Coco Rocha 3D Printing Shapeways

More at Shapeways blog.