The 2014 NYC 3D PrintShow kicked off with a live catwalk show featuring a mixed offering of 3D printed wearables from intricate “wearable art” to a plethora of 3D printed shoes. While I was impressed by a few of the sculptural offerings on the catwalk, notably US debut of Joshua Harker’s Quixotic Divinity Headdress and Catherine Wales’ horned headpiece, I couldn’t help feeling a bit disappointed.

I was expecting many new designs comprised of flexible printed fabrics and I was surprised to see only one completely 3D printed, articulated ensemble on the catwalk. Sure, there were other “wearables” some stiff looking belts, corsets, jewelry, shoes and beautiful sculptural pieces, but with the exception of the “In Bloom” dress from XYZ Workshop, there was a distinct lack of “flexibility” on the runway.

XYZ Workshop + Ultimaker Steal the Show with the “In Bloom” Dress

XYZ Workshop are an award-winning husband and wife team who were intrigued by desktop manufacturing and spent their spare time experimenting with their Ultimaker. The result of that experimentation is the impressively detailed and flexible “In Bloom” dress, printed on their Ultimaker original and unveiled at this event.

This desktop-printed dress looked stellar on the runway and due to the use of Flexible PLA, it moved like heavy fabric. The audience response to this piece was decidedly different than their reaction to the other work. There was a ripple through the attendees as several suddenly stood up to get better shots of “In Bloom”. If they open source it, I’m printing a modified version in black.

Striking Sculptural Pieces, Shoe Roundup and More

With their recent work in flexible fabrics, the creation of the Verlan dress and their upcoming New Skins Workshop series of fabrication-oriented computational design and 3D printing courses, I had expected to see Francis Bitonti Studios on the runway. I’m hoping to catch up with them at the CREATE talks later in the week to find out what they’re up to.

One notable exception to this lack of flexibility was Nervous System’s Kinematics necklaces, which I’m a huge fan of and own personally. I had hoped to see the Kinematics belt they recently prototyped (a step on their way to their dress), but it wasn’t in the catwalk show. Maybe it will make an appearance in their booth? I’ll find out tomorrow!

The catwalk event was just one part of the 3D PrintShow’s opening events. Look for our upcoming coverage of the art exhibition and show floor.