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Protolabs and GE Additive use 3D printing technologies for Met Gala gowns

May 07, 2019 / WILLIAM SMITH

GE Additive and Protolabs have taken their additive manufacturing experience in an unexpected direction via a collaboration with fashion designer Zac Posen. The three collaborated to construct four gowns and a headdress for showing at the Met Gala.
While the innovation does not herald the imminent arrival of consumer ready 3D-printed clothes, it does demonstrate the possibilities afforded by various materials and techniques. Three principal additive manufacturing techniques were used in the construction of the pieces. Electron-beam melting (EBM) was used in the construction of sturdy metal frames for the dresses.
Meanwhile, as revealed by their joint press release, the intricate printed vine headpiece with leaf and berry embellishments is printed as a single piece and made of Nylon 12 plastic and printed on a Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) machine.