DesignX Presents Digital Workshops at ICFF

Innovation begins with education. This is something that rang true for the team behind the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), which marks it’s 25th anniversary this year. What started as a discussion between Mode Collective, The Architect’s Newspaper and public relations firm Tobin and Tucker on the role of education at the ICFF, evolved into DesignX.

DesignX, which consists of 4 days of workshops on the newest digital design tools,  will be held on the showroom floor of the ICFF, taking place from May 18th – May 21st  at the Jacob Javits center. The hands-on workshops cover techniques such as 3D printing, Cloud Based Designing and 4D printing as well as tutorials on design software such as Grasshopper, Autodesk, and Firefly, among others.

Ronnie Parsons, co-founder of Mode Collective, a multi-disciplinary design studio, and co-organizer of the event, met with us to discuss DesignX. Parsons, an evangelist for education and presenter at the event, explained that DesignX is intended to connect industry leaders with an ever-evolving community through education and experiences in design.”

When asked if and how he envisions 3D printing revolutionizing the fashion and design industries, Parson’s pointed to his black Nike Flyknits (whose uppers are made entirely from a single thread), and explained that the opportunity to revolutionize lies with so much more than 3D printing alone. He went beyond that to point out that the evolution is part of a paradigm shift taking place:

“The most significant change that’s occurring in 3D printing is not the technology but the opportunity to reconceive the world that you 3D print in. People are changing the way they think about the world.”

Stay tuned for updates on the event!


Photo courtesy of DesignX

Designing the Future at Inside 3D Printing

“Where is it all going? The unimagined, the unintended, the unleashed,” said Avi Reichental, delivering the keynote address at the Inside 3D Printing conference. Reichental, president and CEO of  3D Systems (NYSE:DDD), a global leader in content-to-print solutions, described a world of hybrid manufacturing where 3D printing is integrated into traditional manufacturing; a world where complexity that is otherwise unachievable, is free and provides opportunities to do things that have not yet been imagined.


While this incited excitement in the room, it was no great shock to the hundreds of designers, developers, innovators and 3D printing enthusiasts that came from around the world to attend the first ever 3D printing conference. Among the crowd, the bigger question was how to make the technology more consumer friendly. The companies in attendance were tackling this from a variety of angles, from software and hardware to design and execution. Some of these included,  3D Nation, which focuses on providing customers design assistance; Sculpteo, which offers customers the opportunity to transform 3D files into 3D objects; and Mcor, whose printers use paper as its material at a fraction of the cost.

These innovations and products are a step towards the “accessibility and democratization of 3D printing,” that Reichental spoke of in his keynote address. In addition to the solutions the many attending companies are offering, the price point of printers at the exhibit hall, ranging from $400-$100,000+, speak to accessibility as well. This can also be seen by the 3D printed creations on display, which included belts, shoes and purses from 3D Systems, bracelets from Makerbot, and rings and home design from Sculpteo.

“The future is here – we just don’t know it yet,” said Brian Evans, of Metropolitan State University of Denver, during his presentation on desktop printing. We at Printing Dress have never believed this to be more true.

Step Into the Next Dimension of Shoe Design

The push towards perfect footwear has been riding the 3D printing wave the past few months. We saw this with Nike’s football cleat and New Balances’s running shoe. Today, PSFK reported on the customizable, personalizable shoe by designer Pavla Podsednikova. While writing her thesis, Podsednikova realized that the technology to scan, digitize and create fully custom footwear was out there and waiting to be taken advantage of. Podsednikova used 3D printing, ABS Vacuum Shaping and Carbon Fiber Lamination in the creation of her shoes.


Photo courtesy of

Her vision is that with a mapped out scan of an individuals foot and a library of designs, we will never again have to sacrifice form for function (or function for form, as many of us ladies know all too well!)

Podsednikova’s various concepts can be seen here.

Q&A: Jewelry Designer Yvonne van Zummeren

In our first ever Q&A, we ask the talented Dutch Jewelry Designer, Yvonne van Zummeren of Dyvsign about her experience with 3D printing and her vision of it’s future:

1) Introduce yourself! What’s your name, where are you from, and what do you do? 

I’m Yvonne van Zummeren, I live in The Netherlands and I design artistic jewelry from a 3D printer. I’m also an Art Historian and I take my inspiration for the jewelry from works of art. With my designs, I try to tell both the story of 3D printing and the original story from the artist.

La Danse des Voiles

Photo courtesy of Dyvsign

 2) When did you first learn about 3D printing? 

At a graduation party at the end of 2010, a friend of mine told me about 3D printing. I had no clue what he was talking about, I just thought he had too many drinks and let his imagination run wild… But months following that I kept hearing about 3D printing and Dutch Fashion Designer Iris van Herpen became my example. I thought what she did was amazing, but not available for “regular people”. I decided to make my designs more accessible.

 3) What was the first thing you ever printed? 

October 2011 I started to really make it happen. There’s a University of Technology in the city where I live, so I thought that would be a good place to start my quest for more 3D printing knowledge. A nice professor gave me an introduction into this amazing world and he also talked about Shapeways. The first thing I ever printed was a napkin ring from a Shapeways easy creation app. I was very excited, and immediately started sketching my own bracelets!

 4) What impact do you envision 3D printing to have on the fashion industry and when?

Personally, I divide 3D printing into two categories: hobby 3D printing and professional 3D printing. Both have different styles, materials and printers. For the professional 3D printing category I envision the future of fashion (including jewelry) to be a more customized to the body of those wearing the fashion. It will have a perfect fit! I also think you’ll see a lot of new fashion/jewelry designers like me, who want to show what’s possible with 3D printing and how it’s not just all technology, but that it can be very fashionable as well! For the hobby 3D printing category, in maybe 10 years from now, you’ll print your own clutch and earrings a couple of minutes before your party taxi arrives, which will match the dress you bought that afternoon.

 5) Do you see 3D printing as a threat to current designer? If not, why? If so, what should be done?

Yes, I can imagine why “professional” fashion and jewelry designers think 3D printing is a threat. I mean, look at me: I don’t have a goldsmith or industrial design education and I’m still a successful jewelry designer. I can imagine that frustrates some designers who did have the education to become “professional” designers. But it’s not only about designing; it’s also about storytelling and being able to market your designs very well.

 6) What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever seen 3D printed?

That would be the “Escher for Real”-project. It’s amazing to see that the drawings of M.C. Escher are coming to life. The files are also made available to download, so you can print Escher’s work yourself!

 7) What material would you love to be able to work with in 3D printers?

I can’t wait for the leather from Modern Meadow to be printed! Until that moment I’d like to experiment with as many materials as possible at Dyvsign. Right now the collection consists of the printed materials nylonpolyamide (very flexible, very easy to wear!) and bronze, but soon there will be others.

In Metal.jpg

Photo courtesy of Dyvsign

8) Do you own a 3D printer? If so, what model? What design software do you use? How did you learn how to use it?

No, I don’t own a 3D printer. These professional 3D printers are way too expensive and I work with many different materials. I use several 3D printing services to print my designs. My 3D-drawer uses Solidworks to turn my concepts and sketches into design files.

 9) What resources would you recommend for someone wanting to do what you do? What should they study?

First of all: find a niche. Something that distinguishes you from other designers. That’s the most important thing! Second: just start! At this moment there’s much more information to be easily found online. Two and half years ago it was much more difficult to find even a little bit of information about 3D printing. But right now there are so many websites, fab labs and 3D printing fairs to be found! Third: if you’re like me and you’re good at thinking in concepts, ideas and sketching on paper but not good at the computer drawing part, find yourself a 3D drawer on the online 3D printing communities or in your own neighborhood. But find someone that understands you, with whom you “click”.

Make sure to check out Yvonne’s beautiful designs at

Materialise Launches Fully Functional Fabric

The fashion world has been waiting, with both excitement and fear, for the 3D printing industry to develop materials that can be used in wearable 3D printed designs. Among those championing this innovation is Dutch designer, Iris Van Herpen, who debuted  the first 3D printed collection in Paris this past January. Her pieces were created with TPU 92A-1, a material developed by Materialise and launched to the professional Materialise community March 14th. According to the Belgian based company, the material is unique in its flexibility, elasticity, and high resistance to wear and tear. We’re excited to see  TPU 92A-1 in action!

Makerbot Digitizer Unveiled at SXSW

At SXSW Interactive, we can expect many exciting innovations in 3D printing, this is of course where Bre Pettis, CEO of Makerbot, first debuted the Makerbot prototype in 2009. Pettis, who gave the keynote address yesterday, announced the Makerbot Digitizer, a scanner which allows users to scan a 3D object, digitize it and print in 3D. The Digitizer uses two lasers and a webcam to create a digital plan which eliminates the need for a CAD (computer aided design) file, a challenging program for the inexperienced.

The Digitizer, which will become available for purchase in the Fall, can create small to medium sized objects, ranging in size form 2″-8″ cylinders. And this is just the beginning!

“This is something you would envision being a piece of fiction, but in fact, it is real — and it is so cool,” said Pettis.


Photo courtesy of

New Balance Follows In Nike’s Footsteps

Less than two weeks after Nike announced their new innovation, a football cleat created utilizing 3D printing technology, New Balance has come to the table.  On Wednesday, the company debuted a running shoe, which contains a customizable 3D printed plate and promises to enhance a runners performance.

This product image released by New Balance shows a New Balance shoe from Jack Bolas’ 3D printed plate. New Balance is taking customization much further than choosing colors or other aesthetic details. The athletic brand is introducing sneakers that use 3-D printing to create a plate on the sole of the shoe that is supposed to enhance performance with every step. (AP Photo/New Balance)

Photo Courtesy of Associated Press/New Balance

Prior to the plates production, athletes are measured and monitored using 100 sensors to gauge how their foot moves as they run as well as how and where they apply pressure.  A motion capture system is then used to detect broader movement. All of this data is input into the creation of a plate that lives on the sole of the shoe.

Photo Courtesy of Brian Babineau/New Balance via

Like many other 3D printed forays into apparel, this product is currently unavailable to the masses. However, as Katherine Petrecca, the business manager of studio innovation, told the Associated Press,

“The technology is early and our implementation is still really in a very early phase, but you can envision as the technology improves and capacity increases — and cost comes down — the audience who will benefit from customization will just grow and grow and grow. This will get down eventually to the casual athlete.”

Chris Wawrousek, studio innovation lead designer, added,

“It feels like a new industrial revolution in some ways. We’re no longer limited by scale to produce a product, and customization can be totally practical.”

Dita Von Teese Don’s 3D Printed Dress

Avant garde style icon, Dita Von Teese, is always one to stay ahead of the curve. On Monday, she modeled a long black gown at The Ace Hotel made in collaboration with designer Michael Schmidt (below, left) and architect Francis Bitonti (below, right).


Photo courtesy of Nina 

The dress, which took 3 months to make, was designed virtually by Schmidt and Bitonti and was produced by Shapeways. It was made of 17 components and 3,000 joints which were printed from powdered nylon. Given the current limitations of printable materials, Schmidt, who designed Lady Gaga’s 2009 bubble dress, explained that breaking down each component was critical for creating something that would appear sensual on the body. Once printed, the pieces were lacquered and adorned with 13,000 black Swarovski crystals.

We think Von Teese looks stunning and Oscar ready!


Photo courtesy of Nina Frazier, 

More on the gown’s creation courtesy of Shapeways found below:

Nike Does It Again

Nike is wasting no time justifying its placement at the top of Fast Company’s list of Most Innovative Companies of 2013. Yesterday, Nike introduced the Vapor Laser Talon, the first ever football cleat produced with 3D printing technology. Nike designers worked with elite trainers and gold medal sprinter, Michael Johnson, to design the shoe, which weighs only 5.6 oz and is built for mastering the 40 yard dash.

Photo courtesy of

The cleat contains a 3D printed plate, which is designed to optimize an athlete’s acceleration through the first 10 yards of the 40 yard dash. It was built using Selective Laser Sintering Technology (SLS), an additive manufacturing process which uses a high power laser to fuse together small particles of plastic, metal, ceramic, or glass powders. The laser selectively fuses the material layer by layer until the part is complete, based on a 3D description of the product in the form of a CAD file.

“SLS technology has revolutionized the way we design cleat plates – even beyond football – and gives Nike the ability to create solutions that were not possible within the constraints of traditional manufacturing processes” said Shane Kohatsu, Director of Nike Footwear Innovation.

With 44,000 employees and annual revenue of $24 billion in 2012, there are boundless possibilities for what Nike can do. We look forward to seeing what they cook up in the Innovation Kitchen in coming months!

UPDATE! Shapeways and Ace Hotel Expo Rescheduled for 3/2

Photo Courtesy of