Researcher Lushan Sun recently has presented her case study about a 3D printed garment, titled ‘Instilled: 3D Printing Elastic Lace’ at the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) Annual Conference Proceedings.
“The purpose of this design study is to explore the elastic performance in the various 3D printed structures using flexible FDM filament (nylon) in ready to wear apparel,” Lushan Sun wrote in her paper.
She also noted that the goal is also to explore visual illusion in surface design through digital textile printing. Research through design (RTD) methodology was applied in this case study, and data were collected through reflexive journal documentation, video recording of the virtual design process.
Numerous designers are experimenting with the use of 3D printing in customized apparel design, in order to solve some issues as well as creating a unique design that’s also functional.
Lushan Sun took FDM and more flexible materials for the study, which focused on the ‘inspiration of visual illusion’.
She integrated organic forms, which fused together to look like lace, in the prototype garment, which featured a delicate torso and skirt portion, completed with a flared silk skirt with an uneven hemline. The torso part of the dress, which blends two digital design applications, was lined with silk habotai – one of the most basic plain weaves of silk fabric – and did not require an additional closure in the form of a zipper.
There were four important phases in the development of the dress. First, Sun explored and sampled the chosen engineered textile prints in order to work out the appearance and color schemes, using Adobe to generate graphics for rendering and manipulation. Draping techniques were then used to develop flat patterns for the flowing piece.
The third step consisted of using direct 3D modeling techniques in Rhino to fully reflect the style of the dress’s organic shapes.
The shapes in the lace-like, 3D printed part of the garment, which is fitted to the waist, upper hip, and shoulder was customized to the shape of the flat pattern, in addition to being engineered to different scales so they would fit both the elastic and aesthetic needs of the dress.
Commercial Rit dye was used to give the 3D printed part of the garment the same ombre transitioning color scheme that the textile portions had.
The case study first published on 3DPrint, a news organization on printing.