Chromatic 3D Materials, Dutch fashion designer unveil 3D-printed dress

November 03, 2023 - United States Of America

In collaboration with Chromatic 3D Materials, a 3D-printing technology company, high-tech Dutch fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht has unveiled a new futuristic 3D-printed dress that responds to its environment through LEDs. The motion-activated design is among the first in the world to directly embed electronics within 3D-printed elastomers. Her creation highlights what the future of creative expression and social interaction may look like as humankind further integrates with technology. Wipprecht’s design will debut next week at Formnext, a 3D-printing event in Germany.

The partnership between Wipprecht and Chromatic showcases the synergy between fashion and technology. Her concept comes to life thanks to the ultrasonic sensors in the collar of the dress and about 75 flexible, 3D-printed LED domes with RGB lights built into the dress. The lighting can be customised with different colours, adapting to various moods and settings. The overall design has a dynamic visual effect while still being easy to wear, wash and maintain, the company said in a press release.

"My dress doesn't just light up, she lights up the room by bringing smiles to people’s faces. As she senses those around her, her personality begins to shine as she interacts with them through LEDs. For me, it’s a glimpse into a future where people harness technology in positive and meaningful ways. I also see this garment as a testament to the quality of Chromatic’s 3D materials and printing technology. For designers like me who incorporate electronics into our creations, this is a unique way to embed and secure electronics within the printing process. Plus Chromatic’s materials are both flexible and strong, making this my most wearable — and washable — 3D-printed dress yet,” said Wipprecht.

While avant-garde, Wipprecht’s creation demonstrates the practical nature of pliable printable materials, a relatively new development in the world of 3D printing. Compared to the exoskeleton-like quality of other 3D-printed runway creations, her new dress can easily move because it is made with ChromaFlow 70, an extremely durable but flexible, rubber-like material known as an elastomer. Garments featuring 3D-printed elastomers still have drape, giving them commercial potential in ready-to-wear clothing, activewear and intimate apparel. Wipprecht’s dress also shows how 3D printing with Chromatic’s elastomers allows designers to print waterproof casing that protects embedded electronics.

“Our collaboration with Anouk is more than a partnership. It's a vision coming to life. By merging her genius with our innovative 3D printing, we're setting the precedent for the future of fashion. We are embarking on a journey that amplifies the boundless possibilities of integrating tech, textiles and apparel including wearable art and 3D-printed clothes that people can enjoy every day,” said Cora Leibig, founder and CEO of Chromatic 3D Materials.