Design and 3D print your own glasses!

Who needs laser eye surgery when there’s a new startup with custom 3D print glass frame service?

3d print oyo glasses

Glasses are, if nothing else, a geek status symbol – definitive proof that you’ve done enough all-nighters staring into textbooks, crafting code or generating geometry on computer screens to have blured your vision permanently. Anyone who’s spent time at the optometrist will know it’s tough to select the perfect pair of frames… Fortunately OYO’s 3d print app is set to appear in the cloud soon for a private beta test programme. (more…)

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Surprisingly beautiful laser cut t-shirts

The simplest article of clothing is transformed into elegant fashion.

Fashion Designer Diana Eng (featured on Project Runway season 2) uses a laser cutter to elevate the simple t-shirt to elegant fashion. She says:

Distressed clothes are better known for tattered strings and frayed edges than precise cuts. But the accurate targeting of a laser cutter adds a layer of techie nuance to a technique more often associated with unkempt style.

These shirts are cotton, so the edges of the fabric does not fuse like synthetic fabric would. To combat this problem, Eng has treated the fabric to reduce fraying and to make them machine washable. Unfortunately for the rest of us (but understandably), she has kept the special treatment a trade secret.

Check out the rest of her work on her site. Her collection includes elements made with 3D printers, laser cutters, and digital fabric printers. Continue past the jump for more images.

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Tools For Textiles and Music

Reed tools and miniature weaving looms with Spoonflower and Ponoko

Andy and Becka Rahn have been dabbling with Ponoko service since 2008.  Becka was curious about designing puzzles, and Andy who is a software engineer couldn’t pass the geek aspect of laser cutting his own designs.  The day Ponoko crossed his computer screen, he started designing his first project.

An art and fiber teacher, Becka decided to make tiny textile tools as holiday ornaments.  She knew of plenty of people who would find miniature weaving looms irresistible.  Andy started with designing reed tools for his oboe, as he found that he was in need of a gizmo to help with the meticulous job of creating reeds for the instrument.  The couple are currently working together on a DIY mini frame loom for weaving enthusiasts.

Both Andy and Becka love working with bamboo and acrylic.  The bamboo is a favourite for its natural finish and feel as well as strength, and the acrylic colors are always an inspiration for fun, vibrant projects.  Becka combines the lasercut pieces with Spoonflower printed fabrics that she also designs.  This means that she has ultimate control over every step of the design process, enabling her to create highly individualised ornaments.

In the past, these handmade fans approached making very differently, sticking to their traditional hobby tools and techniques.  Andy found the transition to digifabbing especially natural, as he was already familiar with digital design tools.  Becka found the new design possibilities exciting and inspirational, and she loves the “whole new level of cool to the materials” that she now has available to her

More from the couple under the cut:


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Fashion and Computational Design Workshop

Building Fashion workshop in Paris, France.

The Architectural Association School of Architecture in Paris, France offers a ten-day workshop twice a year exploring computational design, fashion, and architecture. Here’s what they say about it:

Students will aim at exploring novel morphologic, tectonic, and spatial repertoires, understanding their inherent qualities, and proposing new possible futures in architectural production and clothing design innovation. For this purpose, an international team of instructors will lead students to simultaneously experiment with design and making via computationally advanced design strategies and physical research based investigations.

For those of you in Europe or with the opportunity to go, they are now accepting applications for fall 2011. Everyone else can have a look at some of their projects and experiments from the spring workshop in their Flickr gallery.

More images after the jump!

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Design your own dress

Computational Couture

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Continuum is a new project by Mary Huang which allows you to design your own version of the iconic “little black dress” with the help of an interactive app and digital fabrication. The app transforms your drawing into a 3D model built from triangles. The triangles are then cut from black fabric with a laser cutter or plotter before being sewn into a dress.

Read more about the project on the Kickstarter page, and consider making a pledge to help it become a commercial reality. You can also try out the app (still in progress) for yourself.

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Cutting for Stitching

Sewing friendly laser cutting you should try

When you think “laser cutting”, the product that most likely come to mind are rigid cut out shapes or 3D objects assembled from flat planes.  However, laser cutting can work on a more tactile level, and there are materials available in the Ponoko/RazorLAB/Formulor/Vectorealism catalogues that enable a completely different kind of 3D making – sewing.  I’m talking soft materials, such as various thicknesses of leather and felt.  We have examples and free design files for each of these materials: russet leather camera case, felt shoulder bag, upholstery leather wallet

One of the great advantages of using these materials, is their fast cutting time.  As usual, there are a few tricks when it comes to working with leather and felt, especially when you’re designing for sewing.

Here are a few points to consider:

  • Thick material requires stronger & thicker thread, which means bigger stitch holes
  • Thicker material can have longer stitch length
  • Seam allowance: leather 2mm+, felt 5mm+
  • Will you use overcast or straight stitching for the seams?

MYI projects under the cut: (more…)

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3D Printed Fashion Hits Couture Week in Paris

Speaker hat, extruded plastic dress; I’ll take it all!

One of my new favorite fashion designers is Iris van Herpen.

I recently waxed poetic about her entire fashion career including her lasercut and 3D printed looks from the Spring/Summer 2011 ready-to-wear shows.

And for her Paris couture week debut, Ms. van Herpen has once again exceeded expectations.

This latest collection, entitled Escapism,  features twelve couture styles evoking a truly futuristic fashion sensibility.

The show picks up where her read-to-wear collection left off — the phenomenal investigation of 3D printing in wearables.


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Ten Best Articles on the Future of Fashion, Fabric, and Adornment

Best of the Blog 2010 — fashion + textiles & jewelry

There are two big reasons why digital fabrication and mass-customization are on the rise and here to stay:

#1 People want to reclaim making. They want to have a hand in the products that populate their lives.

#2 People want products that are tailored to their individuality. One size does not fit all.

While fashion and adornment may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to a manufacturing revolution, there is no other industry with a longer history of self-making or quite the same need for absolute customization.

This top ten counts down the best examples of what the future holds for the fields of fashion, textiles, and jewelry.


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PERF Lasercut T-Shirts

T-shirts lasercut with patterns for layering.

This is one of those things that seems like such a great idea, I’m surprised I haven’t seen it before. PERF Apparel laser cuts a variety of patterns into t-shirts. When they are worn over another shirt with a bright color, the color shows through the pattern.

CLICK HERE for more fantastic examples of laser cutting.

More examples after the jump!

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Mo For All

Can you grow a mustache as stylish as this?

Winter is almost here, at least if you’re in the Northern hemisphere, so it’s time to wrap up warmly.  If you find all that layering a little depressing, Nathan Pryor’s HaHaBird neckwarmers will surely put a grin on your face.  Even if you can grow a trendy mo of your own, you may want prefer a slightly lower level of commitment and opt for a comical growth of leather or felt.

How did you come across Ponoko? I came across Ponoko in Wired magazine a year or two ago.  My first thought was “that’s really cool,” but I didn’t have any projects in mind.  When I eventually realized a use for it, I had the hardest time tracking down what I’d seen and spent hours searching for Nokoko, Konopo, Poko, and every other variation of the name I could think of.

How did you used to make products before Ponoko? In the case of the mustaches,


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