inBloom Dress by XYZ Workshop at 3d Printshow New York 2014

24/08/14 News
On the 12th February, XYZ Workshop partnered with Ultimaker to present alongside the talents of internationally acclaimed designers such as ThreeasFour who has designed for Lady Gaga, Francis Bitonti renowned for his 3D printed dress worn by Dita von Teese, Nervous System,Joshua Harker,Pia Hinze, Bradley Rothenberg and others on the 3D PrintShow: Inspire runway show in New York City. During the event, the key players present the immense possibilities of additive manufacturing technology in the fields including film-making, fashion, architecture, medicine and art. It is about the inherent technique of making that many will adopt in the future.

photo credits- 3D Printshow

In Bloom Dress
Our interest in 3d fashion perhaps stems from our background in Architecture. We found that the relationship between fashion and architecture were not too dissimilar. The “fabric” much like the “skin” of a building defined the space it inhabits around the user; create a personal micro climate. Fashion like architecture evokes the user’s senses of self-expression, culture, pride, comfort, and status.

Our 3D printed fashion piece titled the “In Bloom” dress is our second foray into the fashion world, after previously securing the top spot in an international 3D fashion competition organised by the Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

While the previous design was based on the brief to explore water related themes and reference to the local culture by way of mimicking the silhouette of a cheongsam, this new fashion piece is more ambitious in many ways.

The quintessential floral printed dress came as the first point of inspiration for the In Bloom Dress by XYZ Workshop. We wanted to capture the intricacy what such a dress could be and push the boundaries of PLA as textile. Besides showcasing flexible PLA material as being rather delicate and lacelike, we set out with the objective to do two things. Firstly, We wanted to make a fully 100% 3D Printed piece that was not only wearable but had qualities of movement within it. Secondly, we were interested in showcasing that 3D Printed fashion was NOT something you can only achieve using complex 3 Dimensional modelling tools or limited to large expensive commercial 3D Printers.

In doing so, we believe we have successfully proven that 3d Printed fashion is not only accessible but also highly affordable. We believe we may have created the longest ever 100% fully 3D Printed gown using a personal desktop 3D Printer. The entire look measures a total of approximately 7 feet (2.1m) long. The dress comprises a total of 191 panels and took 450 hours and 25 minutes for printing, used 240m or 1.7kgs of 3mm Flexible Filament from Ultimaker. This is equivalent to approximately USD$103.50 worth of filament. It puts forth the question if one day, downloading and printing your own 3D fashion could be as easy as XYZ.

We are currently working with Ultimaker to make the digital files of our dress available to the public, to encourage more “makers” to play and push the boundaries of personal 3D Printing and 3D fashion. People interested in the digital files are encourage to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to get the latest news/update to when it will be available for download.

photo credits- 3D Printshow

In our first 3d fashion piece, we had used a technique of unfolding a complex 3D mesh derived from a point cloud using a 3D scanner.

We questioned if 3D printing were to have a place in a fashion house, it needed to meld ways of the old and new. Otherwise, digital fabrication within the fashion world would be limited to the expert user.

The process started out using standard sewing pattern blocks, which were then cut out and pinned to the mannequin. Numerous sewing pattern blocks are readily available for purchase from sewing shops or over the Internet to be printed at home.. The relative rigidity of the flexible PLA used meant that we needed a design that was relatively structured.

The pieces were segmented accordingly to work within the constraints of the Ultimaker printer bed of approximately 200mm x 200mm.

These pieces were then scanned in and the outlines traced accordingly. From there, we modelled each pattern by creating simple geometries within the outlines of the pattern.

The textile is made from a primary mesh of a geometric floral motif. There were various tests carried out to seek that delicate balance between transparency and movement.A thickness of 0.4mm offered flexibility and strength whilst reducing the thickness even to 0.2mm still allowed for a structural integrity while imbuing a sheer quality and allowed for movement.

The accent motif is a bouquet of leaves and flowers, which were modelled using Rhino. However, one could also use free downloadable software like Sketchup or cloud based modelling tool like Tinkercad, giving users another level of accessibility.

Once the pieces were in hand, we had to come up with a way of stitching. Overlap tabs were created which were then fixed together using adhesive. These three base elements were used repeatedly in the composition of the panels of the dress.

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We saw that a layered approach was appropriate for the skirt where the same floral motif became more solid just below the waist but gradually became increasingly transparent towards the bottom.

By understanding the thermal properties of the material, we manipulated the geometric shape of the skirt panels in post-production by applying some heat, curving the edges to create an additional 3 dimensional volume.

This was exciting, as suddenly the process of the hand meeting the machine presented new opportunities of manipulating the material. The way the light bounced off these curved edges contrasted against the filigree at the bottom rim of the skirt.

The outer skirt consists a knee-length piece over the front with hints of the black layers beneath. As it draped towards the back, the skirt became full length ending with an impressive 193 cm long train. The layers start the reveal itself by way of increasing transparency as you move your eye from the waist down towards the back. The thinner panels again seek to create a sense of sheerness and movement as the model walks down the runway.

Reviews and Publications


This desktop-printed dress looked stellar on the runway and due to the use of Flexible PLA, it moved like fabric.

3D PrintShow NYC Preview: Catwalk Highlights

28453c833c4278d574c7c06a2ccad5c7_bigger 3D PrintShow

The XYZ Workshop and Ultimaker In Bloom dress. Got a winning combination of gasps and applause in our live show.

a floral printed dress I could envision going straight from the runway to a cocktail party. The 100% 3D printed piece (via a personal desktop 3D printer) is unique in the current market because it also has an element of movement to it by using flexible PLA material.

CNNMoney Coverage of 3D Printshow

Photo by nicolelau6
Photo credits – nicolelau6

Photo by swainmakeup
Photo credits – swainmakeup

Photo by lauriesegall
Photo Credits- lauriesegall

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Infographic pictured is that of the in Bloom dress without the in Bloom skirt train piece.
Infographic pictured above is that of the in Bloom dress without the in Bloom skirt train piece.


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0.2layer 04layer2 skirtpanels skirt

individual panels of the inBloom Dress
individual panels of the inBloom Dress
image pictured is that of the in Bloom dress without the long in Bloom train
image pictured is that of the in Bloom dress without the long in Bloom train
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Our latest XYZ frames #prototype from @shapeways printed in nylon and dyed black as well as in #aluminide

Will get it fitted with lenses and road test it soon.
Our latest XYZ frames #prototype from @shapeways printed in nylon and dyed black as well as in #aluminide Will get it fitted with lenses and road test it soon.

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#repost from @katemeadedance with some of the winners with our #3dprinted award for #vicdanceawards 2014 #melbourne #australia #ausdance #dance #shapeways #colorfabb #ultimaker

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→ 3D Printed Fashion Suite launched by XYZ Workshop x Ultimaker
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→ inBloom Dress by XYZ Workshop at 3d Printshow New York 2014
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