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TU Delft Delta TV Dress Iris van Herpen 3D Printing Printed Fashion Week Paris
Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen and TU Delft scientists designed and developed a 3D printed dress. (Photo: TU Delft TV)

Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen and TU Delft scientists designed and developed a 3D printed dress. The collaboration was part of the Crossing Parallels programme.

Crossing Parallels is a joint platform of TU Delft and TodaysArt and brings together artists and scientists to collaborate on innovative projects, stimulate future technologies, and reflect upon scientific inventions and their challenges for society at large.

Hack the printer
For Assistant Professor Zjenja Doubrovski at the Faculty of Industrial Design & Engineering, the collections Iris van Herpen created were most fascinating. “Because it is very difficult, and sometimes even impossible, to distinguish which pieces were made by hand and which were created with the help of a computer.”

“That’s why we decided to use fabrics and incorporate these in a 3D printed structure,” explains Doubrovski. “To do this, we needed to hack the printer. We interrupted the printing process to attach the plain fabric on top of the printed part after which we continued printing. It then continued printing on top of the printed fabric.”

Still a lot of manual labour
Bas de Jong was responsible for the production of the dress and communicating with the studio to translate their ideas for the design into a 3D model. He explains that even though they used a 3D printer, they still put in a lot of manual labour. “We had to do a lot by hand, such as the design process, hacking the machine, putting in the fabric and cleaning the jelly support material. And not to mention that the studio had to stitch it all together at the end.”

For Doubrovski this project was a welcome change. “We are often so fascinated by the technology that we get blinded by the results. In this project, we were always keeping the results in mind.” The collaboration ended with a grand closure at the Paris Fashion Week and also led to a scientific publication. “I would like to collaborate more with artists because that forces us to look at our technology in a different light,” concludes Doubrovski.      

See the short TU Delft TV documentary below.

TU Delft TV / Delta, Marjolein van der Veldt

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