Idea + Fashion + Technology = An Innovative 3Dwalla Project

What do you think of when I say the word 3D?
Your favourite Hollywood franchise film?
3D glasses?
An illusion created by some technology that is 3 dimensional?

What do you think of when you read 3D print?
A holograph?
A 2 dimensional image that looks different from a different viewing angle?

What comes to your mind when I say fashion?
You think of clothes?
An attitude?
Your favourite high street brand?

Okay, okay, I know I’m asking too many questions and not giving you answers.

I’ve recently been acquainted with 3D printing. Now, I’ve known about this technology for some time because I’m a fashionable tech geek. But I’ve only been able to see it, experience it and feel it about 2 months ago. And I’m amazed every single time, including now.

Thanks to my long-standing love affair with fashion (watching old seasons of Project Runway included), my inherent interest in technology (I have my dad to thank) and this blog, I was invited to 3Dwalla‘s workshop in Lower Parel, Mumbai.

3Dwalla is a relatively young company that provides its customers with prints beyond paper. They can take your idea from imagination to reality or give 3D life to a design you have. So, when fashion design student Devanshi Shah approached Monik Shah of 3Dwalla with an idea for an innovative final year project, they collaborated to produce something special.

I haven’t been to design school but it sounds like a lot of fun and a great place to channel your creativity. Also, I imagine it to be a little bit like Project Runway.

Hope II – Gustav Klimt

Devanshi came across Gustav Klimt’s painting Hope II. And decided to put together a vibrant maternity line for her final year project. But she didn’t want to produce this line in the regular fabrics easily available in the market. She wanted to create her own fabric and innovate on the functionality. That’s when she went to Monik bearing her idea. It did seem challenging to him but where’s the fun in not taking up a challenge? They brainstormed over a couple of meetings, exchanging ideas and testing 3D technology with the knowledge of fashion. And finally, in mid-May, at the end of approximately 5 months, Devanshi had a showing of her 3D printed fashion line in Mumbai.

The final 6 garments are meant to dress a woman through different stages of her pregnancy. There’s also a sleeveless vest for men. I love that they have a distinct personality of their own. Check them out:

Source: 3Dwalla
Source: 3Dwalla
Source: 3Dwalla
Source: 3Dwalla
Source: 3Dwalla

To arrive at these looks, several materials had to be 3D printed. The brief from Devanshi was to 3D print different kinds of material that had detailed intricacy, were lightweight yet sturdy, were stretchable yet intact, allowed movement, and looked visually appealing. After several experiments, given the limitations of the printer bed, the raw material used, the temperatures of printing, etc., Monik and his team delivered the fabrics.

The final 3D printed materials | Photo: Dhruvi Shah

The 3D printed fabrics in the required size were ready. It was then up to Devanshi to stitch them together, paint them and give form to her design idea. But a unique material/fabric could not have been stitched together with regular sewing thread, right? Monik and his team created string like thread from the spillover material of the 3D print. Smart move.

I am amazed and will admittedly marvel at this fashionably geeky collaboration. While the process has become clearer after understanding what went on behind the scenes, it definitely doesn’t register as a simple feat to carry out. It truly is a milestone for 3Dwalla, Monik Shah and his team, Devanshi Shah and in fashion’s marriage with 3D printing technology.

If you’re a design student, architecture student, architect, jeweller, or someone who needs a prototype, or an outlet for your imaginative design, 3Dwalla is a good bet to carry out your task. You could find them online on www.3dwalla.com, email them at 3dwalla@gmail.com, find them on Facebook and Instagram or call them on +919833933953.