MoMA acquires "4D-printed" dress

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Kinematics dress by Nervous System

News: New York's MoMA has acquired a "4D-printed" dress that automatically changes shape, and the technology used to create it, a month after the museum added five DIY electronics products to its permanent collection.

Design studio Nervous System's Kinematics project creates complex, adjustable garments by 3D-printing interlocking components connected with articulated joints.



"We refer to Kinematics as a 4D printing system because it generates compressed objects that unfold into their intended shape after printing," creative director Jessica Rosenkrantz told Dezeen.

Kinematics dress by Nervous System

"The garments that we've designed can only expand to their full size after being removed from the printer and they do so automatically, no assembly is required."

Kinematics dress by Nervous System

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) announced today that it has acquired the first dress produced using the technique, along with the app software that customises the design and a concept video demonstrating the idea.

Kinematics dress by Nervous System

The dress was produced by 3D printing company Shapeways in New York earlier this year as a single folded piece, then unfurled into the final shape. This allows the garment to be made more efficiently on the compact machines.

Kinematics dress by Nervous System

"The Kinematics Dress represents a new approach to manufacturing which tightly integrates design, simulation, and digital fabrication to create complex, customised products," said Rosenkrantz and co-founder Jesse Louis-Rosenberg.

Kinematics dress by Nervous System

3D-scanning technology allows the design to be custom-fit to the wearer's body by manipulating the tessellated mesh file before printing.

Kinematics dress by Nervous System

The patterned structure is formed of 2,279 unique triangular panels interconnected by 3,316 hinges, all 3D printed together in nylon using selective laser sintering (SLS).

Kinematics dress by Nervous System

"While each component is rigid, in aggregate, they behave as a continuous fabric allowing the dress to flexibly conform and fluidly flow in response to body movement," said Nervous System.

Kinematics dress by Nervous System

A smartphone and tablet app has also been created to allow the customisation of patterns, style and flexibility, using a re-meshing technique that adjusts the file according to various parameters. The way the dress will drape over the body is shown on-screen as the design changes.

Kinematics dress by Nervous System

The garment, the app and the concept video have all been added to the museum's permanent collection by senior curator Paola Antonelli and colleague Paul Galloway.

Kinematics dress by Nervous System

Last month, Antonelli announced that MoMA has collected a set of DIY electronics products, including a kit that teaches users how to build and programme their own games console.

Kinematics dress by Nervous System

Nervous System began developing the Kinematics concept in 2012, as part of a brief set by mobile phone manufacturer Motorola to create customisable 3D-printed products.

The technique was first used to generate and print a line of jewellery last year.

Kinematics dress by Nervous System

Another 3D-printed dress with articulated parts was created for Dita Von Teese by designer Francis Bitonti, who printed the garment in parts before assembling it.

Kinematics dress by Nervous System

Other designers using 3D printing to create wearable pieces include Neri Oxman, who recently launched "skins" designed to facilitate synthetic biological processes, and Iris van Herpen, who has introduced the technology to the world of haute-couture fashion through collaborations with Oxman and others over a number of seasons.

  • mb4design

    Quite intriguing design with far reaching potential. Refreshing to see fashion as a means rather than an end.

  • Jonathan Tuffin

    Not sure how this would play out in real life. You can see her fanny.

    • Arjay Cee

      Now, now. Mustn’t let crass reality intrude on the “innovation”.

    • dirk

      She’s wearing some skin-coloured underwear. Perhaps you should sit less behind your screen, as it seems you are seeing fanny’s everywhere. Also, this is obviously a net dress to wear on top of something unless you are at home with a lover.

      • Jonathan Tuffin

        Dirk, I didn’t spot the skin-coloured undies. You’ve a sharp eye on you, you old rogue!

      • Jonathan Tuffin

        You’ve a sharp eye on you Dirk, you old rogue!

      • Jonathan Tuffin

        Your second name isn’t Diggler, by any chance?

  • Thomm

    Fashion is very much a time-based concept. Would a dress that could transcend the fourth dimension undermine its own existence? Have you really thought about all the trouble you could cause with this?

  • Hairy Dave

    Get me this dress for my Christmas party!

    • studio

      As long as you keep your hairy dave under wraps.