Water Inspired High-Tech 3-D Printed Top: Swim At Your Own Risk

 Two Australian designers, Lim Kae Woei and Elena Low, have been awarded the top prize in an international 3-D printed fashion competition organized by Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the theme of which was sustainable products inspired by water. Their Melbourne-based XYZ Workshop is known for products which are always geared towards the natural world.


Water-Inspired 3-D Printed Top: Source: Design-Milk.comWater-Inspired 3-D Printed Top: Source: Design-Milk.com



Harnessing clean energy via water has been  a source of amazement and intrigue for scientists and creative thinkers for centuries.  Research on water technologies (electrolysis, hydrolysis, etc) over the decades has opened many door leading both to understanding and creativity. This lacy, 3-D printed top  gracefully and beautifully embraces the process of hydrolysis (creation of hydrogen).


3-D printed Top-Backview: Creatorsproject.com3-D printed Top-Backview: Creatorsproject.com


More about the XYZ Workshop

This unique workshop offers a perspective like no other due to the background in architecture acquired by both  of the designers. According to the company, "the fabric, much like the 'skin'  of a building, defines the space it inhabits around the user; creating a micro climate... Fashion, like architecture, evokes the user's senses of self-expression, culture, pride, comfor and status..."Some similarity between the two arenas emerges when 3-D printing  is added, as both trades require 3-D modeling and construction in order to create a desired result.

How is the 3-D Printed top made?

The design begins from a 3-D scan of a tailor's mannequin. The mesh which forms the geometric shapes are made with a Kinect sensor, which develops an additional 3-D print cloud of the mannequin. The final pattern for the top is mapped out using Rhino 3-D modeling software. It is comprised of 26 different segments that require a staggering 170 hours to print in Flexible Polyactic Acide. The goal was "to prove that you don't require access to an expensive, large 3-D printer to create unique, wearable pieces."


Hydrolysis: Source: Design-milk.comHydrolysis: Source: Design-milk.com


The design alternates between solid and open orbs. The lacy fabric is created through the  open spheres, whcih contrast between solid and transparent sections. The pattern defly  blends modern technology and tradition, bearing a striing resemblance to the Chinese cheongsam (a body-hugging, one-piece dress).

The future of 3-D Printing

This design inspired by sustainability and water, is a prime example of the impetus and attitude necessary for growth in the fashion industry.  3-D printing  has taken many forms and there are certain to be more to come. Pushing that envelope, not so much to outsmart your competitiors or beat them to the punch so to speak, but rather to develop a new idea that others can build upon is the story of human effort, creativity and imagination, which is as infinite as the sky and al the stars that shine.


Closing thoughts on 3-D printing:

I will not be impressed with 3-D technlogy until I can download food. ~ Pinterest.com

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