LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A lecturer at UCLA’s Department of Architecture and Urban Design is teaching students how to apply the methodologies of architectural design to create innovative ways to use 3D printers.
Julia Koerner marked a first in wearable high fashion when her designs were presented on a Paris runway last March.
“It blew my mind. I was really amazed. It was my first time ever in a haute couture show in Paris,” she said.
You’ve probably heard of 3D printing for cars, sporting goods, food, even medical devices. What’s new, however, is the availability and affordability of consumer 3D design software and printing supplies, such as liquid resin ink.
“3D printing enables you to prototype and create whatever you create within the computer,” Koerner explained.
Koerner teaches her students at UCLA’s Playa Vista Ideas Campus how to capture an image, develop a 3D design and prepare a print.
“I’m interested to always explore new technologies and where technologies can drive design,” she said, explaining that she develops her creations from natural shapes.
For a high fashion jacket she custom designed for CBS2/KCAL9, she was inspired by something grown in the ground.
“It’s the topology of the underside of a portobello mushroom,” she said.
The mushroom’s thin gills created an interesting delicate pattern — and some printing complications.
“You need to have a lot of expertise in understanding the material, how to 3D model, because it is printed in flexible polyjet material,” Koerner said.
For just the backside of the high fashion piece, the approximately 4,000 layers — one-hundredth of an inch thick — took about three-to-four days of continuous printing, or “building,” at the U.S. headquarters of 3D printing systems manufacturer Stratasys, in Minneapolis, as well as the company’s Rancho Cucamonga location.
The cost wasn’t cheap — in the thousands. Still, it’s not about the now, it’s about the future.
“People at home can use their iPhone to scan any object and potentially 3D print on their desktop printer,” Koerner said. “It’s really exciting that technology is pushing the design further and that we can work with these digital fabrication techniques to realize our ideas.”
CBS2/KCAL9’s “Hymenium Jacket” was produced on an Objet500 connex3 color, multi-material 3D production system using triple-jetting technology by Stratasys in TangoBlackPlus and VeroBlack.
UPDATE 4/30: A previous version of this article stated the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design is teaching students to design custom clothing. That statement was incorrect and has since been updated.