They just released project “Fabricate” for use with the Cube, their 3D printer designed for home use, however, the applications of their base technology is much broader than hobbyist designers and makers.
It brings the 2014 collection of knitwear fashion house Pringle to mind, using 3D elements as decorative and enhancing, rather than an entire 3D printed outfit. At $1199 for the Cube printer plus Fabricate Design Pack and $149 for the Design Pack alone (presuming you already own a Cube), there is an initial deep pocket investment, but there is something more important going on here.
Tastefully art-directed, they’ve made it extremely easy for the average user to whip up something delicious. This gives beginners a place to start – a springboard for inspiration. It figures out the technical details, so that creators can focus on the form.
The basic premise is quite simple: extrude a base layer or footprint onto the print plate, cover with a layer of mesh or other structurally loose fabric, and then continue printing your forms, trapping the fabric between bottom and top layers. Once you’re done, sew around the edges to integrate the printing into your garment. Click here for their excellent intro website.
The team is encouraging experimentation by its users. “I can’t wait to see how people use this technology to push the boundaries of fashion,” says Annie Shaw, Creative Director at 3D Systems. The message is decidedly inclusive and definitely in the spirit of the discovery of making. It also brings us one step closer to being able to download our clothes off the web – I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!