Pushing the boundaries of 3D printed clothes with Hot Pop Factory

Of all the creative industries, fashion seems to be the one most taken with additive manufacturing. Concerned as they are with fully exploiting the shifting possibilities of material, today’s clothes designers are utilising 3D printers more and more to fire off their finery.

3D printed clothing

Over the past few weeks we’ve had the OpenKnit 3D printer, Feetz tailor made shoes and Samuel Bernier’s corset, but this week comes a 3D printing clothes project of even greater and grander ambition.

A collaboration between two of the designers from Canada’s Hot Pop Factory, Bi-Ying Miao and Matt Compeau, and textile artist Ozana Gherman Hybridized Cloth aims to merge traditional, centuries old weaving techniques with the newest manufacturing methods available. As the company puts it on its website:

The goal was to see what would happen if we dove into the history of manufacturing to pluck out some of the most traditional textile making techniques to concoct a mash-up with the highly digital fabrication method of 3D printing.

Hot Pop Factory 3D printing

The first piece produced by this collaboration is a modern take on the Huipil, a traditional garment worn by indigenous women of Mexico and other parts of Central America. The team began by designing shapes that would fit together to create structures to hold the garment on the wearer’s shoulders. Hot Pop Factory says the pieces were:

…produced as a kit of parts consisting of nodes and connectors, each indexed for easy assembly… the entire piece came together via pin and hole connections, transforming our digital drawings into articulated three-dimensional forms.

3d printed clothes

After piecing the prints together,  the designers then weaved black yarn through the structures to create the final item of clothing.

The notches that were designed into the members made it very easy to guide each thread of yarn around the structure.

In this way, 3D designed structures, 2D patterns and centuries old weaving techniques meet in a brand new design and manufacturing process.

The Huipil is on exhibition until the 15th March at Craft Ontario, as part of both the Hand and Machine show and the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. Meanwhile, the Hybridized Cloth project will continue to examine and explore the potential of 3D printed clothing.

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