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3D Printed Fashion: Gold-Plated Leaves

When Milan-based fashion designers Mia Vilardo and Riccardo Polidoro of Miryaki saw Formlabs' 3D printer on the desk of their friend Luke Hornung of TheSignStudio, they were inspired to design 3D printed, gold-plated leaves and weave them throughout their Fall/Winter 2014-15 collection.

We spoke to Luke about the 3D printed leaves project, how his Form 1 3D printer from Formlabs has changed his work process, and the future of 3D printing.

How did the project with the 3D printed leaves come about?

Just as I did, Mia and Riccardo fell in love immediately with the Form 1 3D printer. After I explained what it was capable of producing, they decided to draw/concept a few interesting designs of these leaves to apply to their new collection.

What was the process like? Can you tell me more about the details of each leaf?

The leaves were printed on a Form 1 3D printer with clear resin, coated with water resistant conductive ink, and then plated with gold and chrome. The leaves were then sewn onto the outfits for Miryaki’s new collection. The result was absolutely fantastic!

Fashion meets 3D printingFashion meets 3D printing

How long have you used the Form 1+? What was your experience like?

While studying product design at IED, I fell in love with 3D printing. I spent much of my free time going into the university workshop and playing with their printers. While going through 3ders, I discovered the Form 1 and immediately backed Formlabs’ Kickstarter campaign to get a printer for myself.

As soon as it arrived I started printing out prototypes and registered my Form 1 3D printer on 3D Hubs where I have been collaborating with and service printing for quite a few people. One of the most interesting things about 3D Hubs is that you get to know people that have similar interests and passions as you have, creating an incredible network!

As soon as the Form 1+ came about, I immediately sent my Form 1 to be upgraded. It came back as a much better printer than before: faster, better, stronger, and more reliable. The Form 1+ 3D printer is so precise that when I show a prototype to a client they can hardly distinguish it from the real product. Clients need to be amazed; with my Form 1+ printer the “wow” effect is always guaranteed! Now that the castable resin has been released, there are no limits to my imagination. Soon I'll be starting my own brand of design products- all created with the Form 1+ 3D printer.

Do you think desktop 3D printing will change the workflow process of product design?

It is already changing my workflow. From what I’ve seen in Italy, many people choose professional 3D printing services that take a long time to be delivered. Time to market is very important for my clients, so with my Form 1+ 3D printer, I can rapidly produce extremely detailed prototypes, saving a lot of time.

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