Designer Francis Bitonti to speak on 3D fashion printing

24 Sep '13
3 min read

Multidisciplinary fashion designer Francis Bitonti, of the famed Dita Dress and the recently launched Verlan Dress, created quite a stir with his 3D printed fashion creations. The Verlan Dress was printed this summer on two MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 2D Printers in the New Skins Workshop, led by Bitonti, at the Pratt Institute’s Digital Arts and Humanities Research Center (DAHRC).

The dress took a total of 400 hours of printing on two MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printers, which printed continually for close to 24 hours a day for two weeks. On September 24, 2013, at 7:30 p.m., the MakerBot Store in New York City offers an opportunity to meet Francis Bitonti and hear him speak about fashion and 3D printing at a special lecture.

The MakerBot Store is located at 298 Mulberry Street (between Bleeker and Houston Streets). This exciting lecture will provide attendees with a glimpse into the high fashion world and how it is intersecting with 3D printing..

Bitonti is an experienced designer who specializes in working with 3D printed items, but printing the Verlan Dress was the first time he had an actual 3D printer in his studio.

“I was pleasantly surprised with how easy the MakerBots were to use,” said Bitonti. “The quality was on par with any industrial 3D printed pieces we have commissioned previously. It was great to have the MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers in the studio and provided the students the ability to have immediate feedback on their designs by printing them during the design process.”

The Verlan Dress, designed in the New Skins: Computational Design for Fashion workshop led by Francis Bitonti, provided design students the chance to seize a unique opportunity to expand the scope of their skills by working with experts in the fields of fashion, art, architecture and computing to design. The end result was fabricating “second skins” for the human body that were inspired by muscles and tendons. Judges reviewed the “second skin” designs and the top creations were combined to create the final Verlan Dress.

To assist with this project, MakerBot provided Bitonti with two MakerBot® Replicator® 2 Desktop 3D Printers and MakerBot’s newest material, MakerBot Flexible Filament, a polyester-based material that moves and flexes with the body. The resulting Verlan Dress was the first creation to ever use the new MakerBot Flexible Filament.

Bitonti’s students used Autodesk’s Maya software, along with Rhino and ZBrush, to create their designs. The resulting Verlan Dress is featured in a documentary video on the New Skins workshop design process and will be showcased at a Bitonti exhibit later this fall at the Pratt Institute in New York City.

“Every day we see and hear about 3D printing being used in different applications,” noted Bre Pettis CEO of MakerBot. “It is especially exciting to us to see the fashion industry embrace 3D printing. We’ve always known it was a very successful tool for modeling and prototyping hardware and jewelry associated with fashion, but to see the evolution into clothing, especially using new materials like our MakerBot Flexible Filament, is very exciting.”

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