Designer Iris van Herpen Unveils First 3D Printed Wedding Dress

Published on May 21, 2024 by Isaac B.

Is it possible to walk down the aisle in a 3D printed wedding dress? What once seemed impossible has now become a reality. Brazilian tax lawyer Mariana Pavani relied on the additive manufacturing technology and creativity of designer Iris van Herpen to bring her wedding dress to life. The Dutch couturier aimed to infuse the dress with an otherworldly delicacy. The intricate, futuristic design that adorns the bodice and neckline gives it a solid appearance while maintaining remarkable flexibility and durability. The combination of high-tech elements and innovative experimentation resulted in a stunning creation that left a significant, lasting impression.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the use of additive manufacturing in creating wedding dresses. Iris van Herpen’s first design in this realm debuted in 2010, featuring a rigid structure with overlapping shells, and was recently displayed at the “Sculpting The Senses” exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Additionally, designer Ada Hefetz has used 3D printing to transform conventional wedding dresses, adding a unique touch. In this instance, van Herpen created a one-of-a-kind piece perfectly tailored to the bride’s body, who walked down the aisle on May 11.

On the right, Iris van Herpen; on the left, Mariana Pavani with the 3D printed dress.

Creation of the 3D Printed Wedding Dress

To achieve a customized design perfectly adapted to Pavani’s body, they began with a 3D body scan. This process included several fittings of the hand-pleated base dress, with delicate fabric and all elements created using 3D printing. This ensured that the pattern matched the bodice design precisely. The 3D file of the dress was 216.7 MB, and the artist spent 600 hours completing the design. Printing took 41 hours at a facility in Paris. According to van Herpen, the dress is seamless, meaning it couldn’t have been made with a typical pattern. “This was really a dream project for me, because 3D-printed fashions are in museums, and on runways, but having it worn by someone on the most special day of her life, I think it’s really something else,” van Herpen explained.

Nylon (PA12), a material that fascinated the designer, was used to manufacture the 3D elements. “The quality of the flexible material is so, so good. She can sit in it, she can basically do anything in it without it becoming less flexible over time,” she added. Iris van Herpen blends traditional couture techniques, such as pleating, draping, and beading, with high-tech elements like silicone molding and laser cutting. She views both disciplines as integral to her brand’s DNA, a philosophy clearly reflected in this unique 3D printed dress. Regarding the final result, Pavani concluded, “I really wanted an outlier dress, something unique. From the beginning, I was hoping that the dress would incorporate 3D printing in its design.” To learn more about this project, click here.

The wedding dress combines technology with tradition.

What do you think of this 3D printed wedding dress by Iris van Herpen? Let us know in a comment below or on our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly newsletter here for the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.

*All Photo Credits: Iris van Herpen

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