Dangerous Prints

Wipprecht Talks 3D Printed Spider Dress, FashionTech

3D Printed Spider Dress

The territorial 3D printed Spider Dress from Anouk Wipprecht stunned attendees at CES 2015. Now, the artist/maker is sharing her creative process and thoughts on FashionTech.

Spiders are the last thing anyone wants to see on the catwalk — except Anouk Wipprecht. She imagined and created an alluring, 3D printed Spider Dress that responds to quick motion.

Approach too quickly, and it becomes territorial with fangs bared. Approach slowly, and it will respond with seductive, suggestive movements.

The spider dress was displayed at CES 2015 and garnered a lot attention both in person and on the internet. The Dutch designer behind the famous Spider Dress sat down with HWTrek to talk fashion and technology. How does she mix the two together so flawlessly?

Approach with caution (Image: HWTrek)

A Toolbox for a 3D Printed Spider Dress

Unsurprisingly, the more Wipprecht talks, the more she sounds like a typical maker. She laments the many challenges of batteries, and explains that power sources are chosen depending on the show and piece.

Though she did use the Intel Edison board for this dress, she also uses smaller platforms, too. “I use DIY prototyping platforms as Teensy a lot for technical prototyping or any Arduino flavor that meets the hardware specifications,” she says.

Wipprecht was also asked about her 3D printing practices. For printing in sculptural form, she turns to Maya (an animation design tool from Autodesk), Rhino (architectural sculpting) and Zbrush (textures and surfaces). However, for the more complex mechanical movements, she uses a number of programs and collaborates with studios, including “Spectral Motion” in L.A.

The Spider Dress represents one of the many exciting possibilities offered by FashionTech, beautiful melding of artists and maker, but what kind of future does the industry have? Wipprecht has concerns that going mainstream will be “difficult” for FashionTech, she says.

Though the processes have become easier and production slightly more streamlined, pieces like the Spider Dress still require serious maintenance. Plus, they don’t come cheap. If the batteries cause difficulty on the runway, they will be detrimental for daily life.

If you haven’t seen the dress in action, do yourself a favor and check it out. But approach with caution..!