In December 1849, John Whipple made his first photograph of the moon, a daguerreotype taken through the telescope at the Harvard College Observatory in Cambridge. Although he did not make the first lunar photograph in America, in terms of accuracy and aesthetics Whipple produced what were internationally recognized as the most sublime photographs of the moon. This study, made with his partner James Black, recalls the maxim in astronomy: the more clearly one can see an object in space, the more beautiful it looks.
Bitoni compared the dress’s construction with that of a Chinese finger trap. “It’s that continuous variation—managing the complexity of the subtle adjustments in form to respond to curvature of the body, how things tighten or narrow, where we need more flexibility or less flexibility of the mesh, all that was able to be tuned to a really high level,” he told Wired on Tuesday.
Bitoni compared the dress’s construction with that of a Chinese finger trap.
Aptly enough, the entire process was communicated digitally. Bitonti used Maya, a high-end software tool used by architects and animators, to create a 3D model of the dress based on Von Teese’s measurements and Schmidt’s original sketch. Using Rhino, another modeling program, he detailed 2,633 individual links across the surface of the gown. Finally, Bitoni laser-sintered the entire piece into 17 parts, which he then manually assembled.
“This would have been incredibly expensive, if not impossible, to do by hand,” he said. “The level of craftsmanship it would require is being assumed by the machine.”
The fashion industry, one of the few remaining that still requires significant hands-on manufacturing, might be due for a shakeup, according to Shapeways “designer evangelist” Duann Scott, particularly once printer manufacturers start offering more garment-friendly materials.
“Traditionally, all garments are either a weave or a stitch,” Scott said. “And with 3D printing, we can introduce something completely different. So we can grow designs rather than just using something that’s centuries-old technology. It’s a whole way to move forward in fashion and clothing and textiles.”