The focus was on the footwear last week when Iris van Herpen’s latest fashion collection hit the catwalks in Paris. However, I was also interested to learn, via 3D printing company Materialise, that Iris’ exploration with 3D printing in her work has gone in a new direction. That’s to say, the celebrated designer is looking at how 3D printing can be used to create what she calls a ‘hybrid dress.’
According to Materialise: “With this dress, [Iris van Herpen] has proved that 3D printing does not have to be a choice of ‘all or nothing’ when it comes to design. Instead, 3D Printing can serve as a beautiful and functional part of the whole, adding value to traditional craftsmanship.”
This is an important message for everyone — and every application — albeit embodied here in aspirational, high-end fashion. 3D printing is a wonderful enabling tool, it can solve problems that other tools can’t and it can create things that other techniques can’t. But it is not a one tech fits all. It is often most productive when used in combination with other tech.