The Austrian architect and designer Julia Koerner has unveiled The Sporophyte Collection. Comprised of three ready-to-wear, high-end fashion pieces, the collection was produced in collaboration with Stratasys on the Objet500 Connex3 multi-color, multi-material 3D Printer, using PolyJet-based digital materials.
Koerner designed the Sporophyte Collection specifically with 3D printing processes in mind. The complex geometric patterns and material property combinations of the jackets and necklace could not be fabricated with conventional forms of manufacturing.
With an interest in biomimicry, Koerner was inspired by the natural structures found in fungi and kelp. These species were 3D scanned and lead to the development of garments using three-dimensional geometries, which were then 3D printed by Stratasys. The three-piece collection, including the Hymenium Jacket, the Kelp Jacket, and the Kelp Necklace, were 3D printed in a digital combination of rigid and rubber-like materials (TangoBlackPlus and VeroBlack). This unique blend of textures allowed Koerner to create beautifully crafted pieces that emulate the movement of wearable fashion garments.
“It was very important that these intricate pieces maintained a flexible aesthetic,” said Koerner. “Stratasys digital materials enable designers to produce the unique combination of rigid and flexible pieces that behave more like a garment, allowing the material to work with the body as it moves about.”
“The dried kelp has a very intricate layering system, and I wanted to bring this complexity into the lace-like structure, as seen in the Kelp jacket and necklace designs. There is no other technology available that could achieve the complexity, detail, and granularity of this design,” added Koerner.
The collection was the result of three-month collaboration with Stratasys, although the garments themselves were 3D printed in a matter of days. Stratasys’ cutting-edge PolyJet 3D printing technology allows designers to create high-precision pieces in one build, simplifying assembly processes.
Koerner has worked with the likes of Iris Van Herpen and Ross Lovegrove on alternative 3D printed fashion collections throughthe years. She believes that the advancements in 3D printing technology, particularly Stratasys digital materials, have revolutionized design possibilities in the fashion industry. In addition to the introduction of flexible materials, 3D printing technology has affected emerging trends in custom-fit clothing. Designers can utilize 3D scanners and 3D printers to develop tailored pieces for individuals.
Koerner explained further: “I think it’s extremely exciting to be a part of this group of designers who are investigating how fashion design can be developed with 3D printing. It’s my mission to take this a step further and produce customized, ready-to-wear fashion that is not only for museums, but also for the average woman to wear.”