Sustainable 3D-Printed Fashion Inspired by Clean Energy

An unusual design competition challenged participants to create 3D-printed garments that were sustainable and inspired specifically by water, and the winning design is truly a stunner. Lim Kae Woei and Elena Low of Melbourne-based XYZ Workshop researched water technologies to come up with an intricate lace-like design inspired by the electrolysis of water.

The process by which clean energy can be harnessed from water is the basis for this pattern, which consists of both closed and open spheres in various sizes. The structure of the garment itself is inspired by the traditional Chinese cheongsam.

“The idea that pure clean energy can be harnessed from water has great potential in the field of sustainable energy,” say the designers. “Focusing on the water molecules’ transient change of state, we express this in the design with a series of solid and ‘open’ spheres. At a micro level, stillness is embodied by the ripple-like patterns, which has a texture that alludes to a traditional textile weave.”

The garment began with a 3D scan of a tailor’s mannequin which was then processed using computer software to create a three-dimensional mesh. The patterns of the model were mapped out virtually in a process very similar to that of a traditional tailor. The final piece consists of 26 different sections, and took about 170 hours to print in flexible plastic.

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