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.

3D Find of the Week

3D Find of the Week

We love this 3D Printed Brass Bracelet by MCODE Jewellry. Perfect on its own or layered with other pieces, it’s a great example of fashion + tech. $255 USD.

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.”

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!

Who is Running the Revolution?


Several leaders have emerged in the evolution of the 3D printing industry. We break it down below:

Shapeways is A 3D printing social platform and marketplace which allows individuals to create and sell custom designs, utilizing 3D printing technology. Users can select from a variety of materials, including sandstone, ceramic, silver, and stainless steel to produce their very own designs which they can sell to the Shapeways community.

Shapeways is headquartered in New York, NY, with offices in the Netherlands and Seattle, Washington. Investors include Lux Capital, Union Square Ventures, and Index Ventures.

Stratysys is a manufacturer of 3D printers and 3D production systems. Their printers and systems are available for both small scale manufacturing and desktop printing.  The company focuses on advancements in the Aerospace, Automotive, Commercial Product, Consumer Product, Medical Device, Military, and Educational industries.

Stratysys is headquartered in Edina, Minnesota and Rehovot, Israel.

Makerbot is a manufacturer of desktop 3D printers, focused on bringing the technology to the end user. The company operates a retail location in New York, NY, where they provide demos and seminars on the technology and allow prospective users to experience 3D printing.

Makerbot is headquartered in Brooklyn, NY. Investors include Foundry Group, Bezos Expeditions, True Ventures, RRE Ventures, and Sam Lessin.

3D Systems is a producer of 3D printers, print materials, digital content and 3D CAD software, for both professional and consumer use. The company focuses on providing end to end solutions, with focus on a variety of industries, including Transportation, Energy, Consumer Products, Recreation, Healthcare and Education, among others.

3D Systems is headquartered in Rock Hill, South Carolina, with offices in Australia, the Netherlands, and Italy.

Lewin urged that the biggest threat to brands hasn’t even become a real threat just yet. “When the cost of 3D printing is reduced, it’s going to create an entirely new generation of businesses,” he said. “It’s not far away.