3D Printed customizable Stained Glass Corset

The Stained Glass corset depicts the flowers, berries and leaves of the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. In a bid to mirror the stained glass effect of a church window, van Vuuren together with Stratasys’ Materials Engineer, Tal Ely, used a custom pallet consisting of three base materials: Stratasys’ clear transparent and rubber-like materials, along with VeroMagenta to create the vivid pink and purple coloring. The corset is almost entirely comprised of PolyJet digital materials varying in different levels of flexibility and opacity, from the rigid transparent panes to soft colored parts. This ability to mix materials and colors on-the-fly to create new material properties and colors is a world first for 3D printing technology.

“The stained glass corset is a perfect representation of the advanced design and manufacturing capabilities of the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer,” comments Arita Mattsoff, Vice President Marketing, Stratasys. “The complexity of this piece should not be underestimated – droplets of three different materials were combined enabling Michaella to not only produce flexible, rigid and color parts in one print, but also transparent attributes. Designers now have the power to create very complex structures made of different materials and colors never achievable before in one process.”

The Garden of Eden fashion pieces were brought to life by a virtual collaboration over 3 continents and made their debut in a third. The project took over 6 months and many hours of hard work by the team to be finished before the public release of the Stratasys multi-material multi-colour printer . I worked on conceptualising, 3D sculpting and the CAD designs in South Africa, Dr Daniel Dikovsky and Tal Ely from Stratasys on the Connex3 in Israel, and Turlif Vilbrandt from Uformia on customisation in Norway. The pieces made their debut at the first 3D Print catwalk show at the New York 3D Printshow during New york fashion week February 2014, they were also exhibited in the GUILD Collectable Design Fair in Cape Town, 3D Prinsthow London and the 3D Printshow Paris.

From the beginning it was clear that to use the Stratsasys Objet 500 Connex3 technology to its full capacity would require a new way of thinking, a different approach to how I usually design for 3D Printing. I have made many designs for different 3D printing processes. From Direct Metal laser sintering the selective laser sintering machines. What makes the Connex3 different is the ability to control both the material properties and the colour. In the same 3D print you can have very rigid and rubber parts and all the strengths in between. The parts can vary from opaque to clear and colour can be used to create beautiful pallets.
The possibilities are endless.

I started the collection by looking at nature, nature is extremely adept at combing different materials and the “jelly like” beauty of underwater creatures also made a contribution. I also studied shoes, fashion and art and of course the Connex3.

What I loved about the project was that communication was facilitated by my drawings. That art is used to fluidly communicate ideas between the different disciplines of design, materials engineering and software creation.