3D Printing Stories | Creating High Fashion

Anna Wilhelmi, a Berlin fashion designer aspired to create an innovative fashion collection. The designer found inspiration for her clothing line in oversized, padded uniforms of American football players. The shoulder pads create a stronger visual impression of the male body. The collection genuinely reflects Anna’s perception of fashion: first and foremost it should be fun because the industry tends to take itself too seriously.


The novelty of this fashion sensation is not just in the designs themselves, but in the manufacturing process as well. Anna used a combination of a 3D scanner, 3D design software and a 3D printers to realize her vision. Guided by her initial drawings, Anna formed a frame made with a fine wire mesh and fit it onto the bust. She then draped plaster bandages on the wire rack, creating a silhouette.

Working with Artec’s German reseller, Antonius Köster, Antonius Köster, they then, scanned more than a dozen models using the Artec Eva 3D scanner. “The scanning software, Artec Studio, shows results in real time.”, comments Antonius, “You always see the current scan progress and you can simply scan parts that weren’t captured again. The program automatically aligns all individual scans together into a single 3D model.”

The scanned plaster models were used by the fashion designer as a rough digital template. Using a 3D modeling program, the scan templates were edited and received finishing touches. Surfaces were smoothed and the right side was aligned to the left. Edges were straightened and some models got the surface structure of an American football players uniform. Anna and Antonius incorporated eyelets and ties later with textiles or other shells. Finally, the digital models were printed on a 3D printer out of plastic powder. Sometimes large and sturdy, sometimes feminine and delicate, the finished parts became a part of the textile design.

Later Ms. Wilhelmi said, “The exciting thing about 3D technology for me is that I no longer have any technical limitations in the creation of my designs. I do not have to undergo the tedious process of understanding a 3D program to virtually create complex organic forms. Artec 3D Scanners are easy to use and I can easily digitize my hand crafted models. There is no limit to my imagination. Things I cannot realize manually, I realize on the digital model – just fantastic!. Artec 3D Scanners made this possible for me.”