South African Designer and Engineer, Michaella Janse van Vuuren, has created a unique collection of colour, multi-material 3D printed fashion pieces using Stratasys’ new Objet500 Connex3 3D Printer.

Van Vuuren’s collection features a ‘Stained Glass’ corset, ‘Classic Serpent’ shoes and belt, along with a range of ‘Fish-in-Coral’ bracelets, most pieces 3D printed in a single print run, in a range of unprecedented colour and material combinations.

‘The ability to combine rigid and flexible materials in one piece is something that is so rare, and introducing colour into the process inspires us creatives to think in a whole new way,’ said van Vuuren.

Inspired by the Garden of Eden story, van Vuuren’s latest collection demonstrates a world where Eve is the master of the serpent, preventing the fall of paradise and any punishment upon her descendants, a role reversal to the original parable. ‘In this depiction, the woman is free, powerful, and in full control. She can be anyone she wants to be, the author of her own destiny,’ explained van Vuuren.

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 colouring. 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 coloured parts. This ability to mix materials and colours on-the-fly to create new material properties and colours 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,’ commented Arita Mattsoff, Vice President Marketing, Stratasys. ‘The complexity of this piece should not be underestimated, droplets of three different materials were combined enabling van Vuuren to not only produce flexible, rigid and colour parts in one print, but also transparent attributes. Designers now have the power to create very complex structures made of different materials and colours never achievable before in one process.’

Also featured in the collection are multiple pairs of 3D printed shoes, which incorporate an eye-catching serpent design that symbolises the reversal of power and the subjugation of the serpent instead of the woman. Each shoe combines rigid parts for the support structure, rubber-like elements for flexibility, and colour for stunning aesthethics. In addition, a fashionable serpent belt, designed to be the woman’s coat in arms, was completely 3D printed using what is believed to be the industry’s only flexible colour material.

Completing the collection are a number of experimental bracelets that further underscore the possibilities of the Objet500 Connex3 Colour Multi-material 3D Printer.

According to van Vuuren, the bracelets harness two different approaches to bending rigid mechanical interlocking parts, as well as the adjustment of material properties to create jelly-like elements.’Depicting the water features in the Garden of Eden, the Fish in Lilies bracelet explores rigid mechanical solutions to bend the bracelet around the wrist while the Fish in Coral piece experiments with different material properties to create a more rubbery part.’

‘I have only scratched the surface of the possibilities with the Objet500 Connex3 3D Printer,’ concluded van Vuuren. ‘Not only does this technology replace traditional methods of fashion manufacturing, it enables one to manufacture in a completely new way. The ability to include different material properties and beautiful jewel like colours in a single print run is absolutely ground-breaking. Like paint on a canvas, this 3D printer is a powerful tool for engineering and creative expression. I cannot wait to see the objects that this technology will enable.’