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3D Printing at the 2019 Met Gala

MIT Technology Review was on hand at this year’s 2019 Met Gala.  “The fund-raising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is famous for the impressive, wild, and avant-garde looks warn by some of the biggest celebrities.”  This year’s theme was ‘Camp.’

“Five of the outfits flaunted massive 3D printed components, all created by designer Zac Posen in collaboration with GE Additive and Protolabs.  The four gowns and one headdress, worn by the likes of Jourdan Dunn, Katie Holmes, and Nina Dobrev, took six months to put together.”

“Each of the women wearing the 3D-printed outfits was scanned in advance to ensure the pieces could be modeled with design software to perfectly fit her body.”

Interestingly, “the pieces were primarily created using stereolithography (SLA) to get the high-quality finishes Posen was seeking. This method of 3D printing uses an ultraviolet laser to slowly cure a pool of resin. One layer at a time, the laser fires into the resin in a pattern dictated by a computer in which the 3D model has been loaded. The result is a hardened, smooth sculpture that is then painted or polished.”

Indeed, “the most intensive look, modeled after rose petals and worn by British model Jourdan Dunn, took more than 1,100 hours to create.”

As Director of Business Development for the 3D printing company MatterHackers Mara Hitner explains: “I don’t think 3D printing will ever replace traditional fabrics, but when you are talking custom one-off items, things meant for one person for an event, 3D printing is an excellent option.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of MIT Technology Review

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