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The Art of Engineering a 3D Printed Petal Dress: Nervous System defies convention again.

by • February 29, 2016 • No Comments

The createers at Nervous System have outdone themselves yet again, this time 3d printing a bright-red dress inspired by flower petals, feathers and scales. The create was made in preparation for the next #Techstyle exhibition at The Museum of Okay Arts, Boston.

Kinematics Petal Dress

Nervous System’s newest Kinematics Petal Dress showcases
over 1600 one-of-a-kind facets and 2600 hinges, creating a wayal landscape of overlapping, petal-like forms. The petal-like textile seems to behave like fabric, delicately molding itself to the contours of a body.

Whilst this is not the initially 3D printed dress made by Nervous System, it is the initially of their dresses to use a additional sophisticated set of textiles. Historically, we have seen the tessellated triangle structures that
manufactures up the 3D printed Kinematic garment. Yet, the new dress showcases
a variety of overlapping plumes protruding of every triangle framework, creating the petal-like textile.

With new textiles, emerged new challenges. Creating every petal shape is not only sculpturally ambitious, but it poses a whole new challenge that
demanded the reconsideration of how to in fact
fit the dress into the create platform of the 3D printing device.

The limitations of 3D printing need that
every 3D version fit into a specific bounding box, that optimizes for efficiency when printing. With previous dresses, Nervous System had created software that applies smart-folding techniques to every garment, compressing their dimensions for efficient 3D fabrication, and ultimately unfolds into their meant shape post-printing.

Image courtesy of Nervous System

, the structural differences of the new petal textile made compression and folding challenges for the team.

“Producing dresses with overlapping scales gave us new challenges and opportunities. Our previous garments had been printed folded to manufacture them efficient to print. But, the overlapping scales don’t fold efficiently. They can quite
only bend in one way that prevents us of employing our previous compression strategy.” – Jessica, Nervous System

scaleBend4Image courtesy of Nervous System

“On the other hand, the overlapping nature of the shells manufactures it possible to have hidden snap-together connections. This allows for for the creation of reconfigurable garments. In the case of our dress, we made a 3-in-1: your dress can be a top, a skirt or a dress.” – Jessica, Nervous System

multipart-768x458Image courtesy of Nervous Systems

Breaking the dress apart into three pieces may only be part of the solution. In order to print the dress as efficiently as possible, the garment needed to be additional consolidated into a bounding box that
may decrease
space used in the printing device. Since it may not be folded, they created an entirely new method of collapsing the version: why not roll it up like a carpet?

Image courtesy of Nervous System

After months of prototyping, developing and prep work, the piece was finally eager to send to our selective laser sintering 3D printing devices in Long Island City.

As you can see, the Kinematic Petal dress is not only another springtime, floral inspired dress. It is a feat of engineering, a work of art, and another breakthrough for the Nervous System collection.

Naturally, the Nervous System team didn’t stop with only the dress. They’ve in addition
made a jewelry line of petal inspired products, that is now on the market in their shop.

Petal Jewelry

If you are
interested in learning additional of the system
of creating the dress, check out Nervous System’s Blog and find out additional. And if you are
in the Boston area, be certain
to stop by the Museum of Okay Arts between March 6 through July 10, 2016 to see the piece in real life.

Click here to follow Nervous System and remain
up to date with their newest designs on Shapeways!

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