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Designer creates world’s first flexible 3D drawn and 3D printed menswear outfit

It was made using both a 3D printer and a 3D pen

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Mats Beckman, a student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, contacted 3dpbm to let us know about his graduation project: the world’s first flexible, compostable menswear outfit created using a 3D printer as well as a 3D pen and heat pressure. The collection was awarded with KADK’s UN Sustainable Development Award.

The outfits consist of a short-sleeved shirt, shorts and associated accessories such as bags and neck and leg decorations. The base component in the material is non-GMO corn starch. This unique elastomeric bioplastic is made from compostable raw materials that have passed the U.S. (ASTM D6400) and E.U. (EN 13432) standards for compostability.

“In relation to the design itself, I have looked at the properties of the material and created the design from that aspect,” Beckman explained about how the material informed the garments’ designs. “I have used a flexible compostable filament, which is absolutely fantastic, but one of the drawbacks is that it is not breathable, and for that reason I have prioritized creating a design that is airy, lightweight and comfortable on the body.”

According to Beckman, the material is heat resistant, cold resistant and features a total absence of negative effects on the composting process. The composting process only occurs when four criteria take place concurrently: the presence of moisture, microbes, oxygen and heat. When any one of these elements is not present, the material remains stable.

The material was first processed by using a 3D pen. Beckman created a pattern, where the filament itself becomes thinner, and thus more flexible, more breathable through the complexity of the geometric pattern. It is thus easier to heat-press, in order to make it paper-thin. From there, Mats was able to melt the various parts together into one outfit, where all parts and all fusions consist exclusively of flexible compostable bioplastic.

Bags and accessories have also been created through this process, while a 3D printer was used to print buttons, closures and other details. Beckman himself has been working with 3D printing for some time, experimenting with his Ultimaker 3D printer and 3D pen technology to various ends. The promising young designer also has high hopes for 3D printing in the fashion world.

He says: “I both believe and hope that 3D printing will play a significant role in the fashion industry in the near future, where both our production processes and our way of thinking of fashion design in relation to economics and the environment needs new creative ideas.”

Over the years we have seen several innovative uses of home or desktop 3D printing for the fashion industry, starting with Danit Peleg’s outfits to the latest fully 3D printed shoe by Cornelius Schmitt and Peter Graeff. However, this project probably goes even further – adding a touch handcraft with the use of the 3D pen while still leveraging interesting materials and 3D printing (not to mention that this is the first time 3D printing is used for menswear fashion), thus opening the door to more applications in the future.

“I definitely plan to continue with this 3D method and, at the same time, exploring similar techniques in collaboration with new sustainable materials,” the designer told us. “I think there are a lot of opportunities with 3D printing within the fashion industry, so this is just the beginning.”
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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites and, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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