PART 2: Actually printing something

So now the next chapter of my 3D printing journey began.
I had found the Mesostructre file, that I wanted to print, and I then brought it to Labitat, where Martin helped me print my very first print.
I was literally blown backwards by how cool it was to se a 3D printer in action. To start out with a file on the computer, and then seeing the 3D printer print the exact same file out in real 3D was crazy! I was sold at once, and from there on it could only get better.

Mesostrucure_onscreen

Mesostructure

The next prints Martin and I did, where also something I found on Thingiverse. I printed a chainmail, and also a flat constructed flexible shape, made by horizontal lines, connected asymmetrically in one end and the other, which made it super flexible.

3d print

Flexible_shape

I then ran in to my first big obstacle, which was how to move forward with this technology, if I was only able to print things that other people had designed. One of my best skills is designing and developing, but I had a very little understanding of 3D programs, which are the number one tool you need to learn to develop your own prints.
I was also still in a lot of doubt about how to be able to use this technology in a way that would make sense for me. I was very focused on trying to develop some sort of “fabric”, that you could make clothes from, because I couldn’t think of any other options at that time.

Martin came to my rescue, when he told me that he had heard about some people experimenting with 3D printing directly onto the fabric, and that they were still in the test phase with this.
I was immediately blown away by the idea, and was ready to test it right away, because I found that I perhaps would be able to find what I was missing in 3D printing, which was working with tactility and surface.
As a fashion designer you work with a lot of different kinds of fabric and materials, and this is actually one of the things that I am good at – finding and putting together fabrics, working with their texture, surface, the fall of the fabric, combining transparent and opaque materials and so on.
One of the first questions I met when I told people in the fashion industry that I had started working with 3D print was “So, what it is made of?”. When I told that it is made of plastic (PLA), it felt like people weren´t that interested anyways, because classically PLA is not a very nice material to work with in fashion.
By combining 3D print with fabric, I wanted to shift focus from “What is it made of?” to “Wow, can you do that with 3D print as well?”.