Nervous System, a generative design studio based in Somerville, Massachusetts has developed a method to create a comfortable, full size, 4D printed dress in a single build. The first dress manufactured is so beautiful and revolutionary that it has been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of its permanent collection.
In 4D printing, the fourth dimension is change. It refers to the creation of 3D printed items that are intended to transform over time. In the case of Nervous System, their method, which they call Kinematics, produces items with tens to thousands of unique components that interlock into dynamic mechanical structures. Each individual component is rigid, but combined, they act as a continuous fabric. A large item, like a dress, can be printed as a single assembly and unfolded after removal from the printer.
The implications of 4D printing go far beyond fashion. Skylar Tibbits, a Reseach Scientist in MIT's Department of Architecture is developing self assembling and programmable materials that can transform dramatically after removal from the printer. Be sure to check out his TED talk in the video below.
Kinematics Dress by Nervous System - 3D Printed by Shapeways
4D Printing is the Future of Design
Skylar Tibbits: The emergence of "4D printing"
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