Fashion Tech 3D Printing: The Vortex Dress

Fashion Tech 3D Printing: The Vortex Dress

3D printing has gained more and more momentum in the fashion tech world as designers and startups are thinking outside the box with very interesting results. Laura Thapthimkuna is one such designer. Laura’s career as a fashion designer has including creating custom stage wear for performers and having her work exhibited with CBS News, BRAVO, many others. She’s is currently creating her first 3D printed Dress: The Vortex Dress. We recently spoke with Laura to learn more.

Tell us about the fashion design work you have done.

Ever since I started designing clothes I tried to create structure using steel and plastic boning, as well as other unconventional materials like human hair and medical materials. I would find a lot of inspiration in 3D renderings of abstract forms so I would say I’ve always felt drawn to certain shapes and structures that lend themselves to 3D printing even before I knew it was even possible.

Tell us about the Vortex dress. What makes it different?

I think what makes the dress different is the concept behind it and the overall design. I really tried to doing something quite different and very sculptural. I wanted to create a dress with no apparent beginning or end to it structurally. Something organic feeling with mathematical elements.

Laura Thapthimkuna

Laura Thapthimkuna

What was the inspiration behind the Vortex Dress.

The inspiration behind the Vortex Dress was space and black holes. I became very inspired by artistic interpretations of theories regarding time and space being twisted and distorted in the universe. I wanted to create a design that didn’t have a specific ending or beginning, something organic but with mathematical elements with swooping lines and spiraling textures.

What has been one of the most challenging parts of getting started? How did you overcome this and what did you learn?

One of the challenges with this design and any is that I have to go from a 3D idea in my head and try to put it down on paper two-dimensionally. Then I have to give that two dimensional sketch to my 3D modeler to then translate back into 3D. These transitions can be tricky and challenging at times, but I’m really fortunate to work with very talented people with extensive knowledge of 3D. The most obvious issue is being able to fund the actual fabrication of a design of this scale, I’m hoping to broaden the audience that finds my work compelling and achieve funding for printing this design through my Kickstarter campaign which launched Sept.14th.

What can we expect next from you?

After the Kickstarter I plan to present the design to museums to exhibit, use the design in a film, photo shoots, and to present on the runway.


To learn more check out Laura Thapthimkuna’s website and Kickstarter campaign site.

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