Paris, France – Last week the catwalk of Iris van Herpen’s Spring 2015 Show was a conveyor belt of innovative haute couture, with each piece stunningly conceptualized and realized by van Herpen in collaboration with technological and architectural gurus. The apple of our eye (although we’re biased) was dress 31, designed with the help of architect Niccolo Casas, and 3D printed by us.

The strapless, semi-translucent mini dress was designed specifically for Dutch model Iekeliene Stange, and 3D printed in two structural pieces that were custom fit her delicate form. After finalizing the dress’s 3D design, Casas and van Herpen took a scan of the dressmaker’s form made to match the model’s body for the final file to print. Our flagship SLA technology (stereolithography) is part of what drew van Herpen to our doors. The technology works using a liquid photopolymer that is cured in sequential layers by ultraviolet light resulting in a dazzlingly smooth, translucent solid, with accuracy finer than the eye of a needle.

Printed as a front and back, the first print took 45 hours, and the second 36. This process was then followed by nearly 8 hours of polishing and finishing. Printed on our ProX 950 machine (capable of printing as large as an adult tiger), the dress was a challenge to create in the short timeframe allotted, and quite a feat of engineering, too! This all adds up for van Herpen, as she has a reputation for eager collaboration with the fields of science and architecture.

Though one of van Herpen’s dresses can set you back thousands of dollars, we are excited to begin working with her to make her designs more accessible  and give people a chance to own a piece of this art.