Dior Fashions Something New with 3D Printing
The latest additive manufacturing adventure comes from an unlikely source
The well-known French brand Dior has created something slightly different than their iconic luxury fashion items.
Founded in Paris, France in 1946 by Christian Dior, Dior has become a staple in the fashion industry, having once made up 75% of the Paris fashion exports and 5% of France’s overall revenue. The brand is known for anything from handbags to makeup to perfumes, but now they’re making headlines for a different reason: they 3D printed two buildings.
Not Dior, themselves, of course. They called in the help of Italian 3D printer manufacturer WASP (World’s Advanced Saving Project) to create a pop-up store on Jumeirah beach in Dubai. According to an article by 3D Natives, the structure was printed using natural materials with two “Crane WASP collaborative 3D printing system[s] to create structures within a luxury aesthetic. Using advanced digital construction techniques, WASP was able to 3D print the circular building with minimal waste and reduce ecological impact when compared to traditional construction methods.”
|Caption: Source: 3D Printing Media Network|
The walls of the buildings were made to resemble the famous Dior women’s handbags (shown in the video below), with each layer differing from the others. According to 3D Printing Media Network, the structure was printed with a combination of “clay, sand, and natural fibers”, and was uniquely complicated considering an error in one layer could compromise the whole thing. The build has a surface area of about 12 miles, used 55 tons of material to create, and took 120 hours to complete.
Additive Manufacturing (aka 3D Printing) Has a Far Reach
3D printing is nothing new. In the 1990s, its primary use was for medical purposes—but it has come a long way since then. For example, when I asked my boyfriend’s father what his engineering firm uses 3D printing for, he responded with “plenty of things: reverse engineering, duplication of items, test fits for parts, visual aids for projects, and to save money on purchasing items that can otherwise be 3D printed.” He then let me know that NASA even had a competition (2019) to come up with a way to 3D print habitable housing in deep space.
And its usefulness doesn’t stop at corporations (or, you know, space). According to Printing It 3D, “the 3D printing industry is not only catering to big businesses anymore, as enthusiasts and home users are occupying more significant fragments of the market as time goes by.”
Simply put, it’s becoming mainstream. I’m assuming no home user is printing an entire building in their spare time, but 3D printing crafts are wildly popular. From Etsy shops making props (many of which I purchase) to engineers making models (to exploring deep space?), the possibilities of 3D print are endless—25 of which Formlabs was kind enough to write about.
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