When A’Whora stepped out onto the Drag Race runway, in her fabulous “pre-herstoric” dinosaur look, and revealed her 3D-printed outfit, she managed to turn something pretty boring (sorry, 3D printers) into something sexy.
“This look I designed is inspired by [designer] @irisvanherpen,” A’Whora wrote on Instagram, under a picture of the body-fit printed costume. She described the look as “a skeletor bodice 3D scanned and printed to my body including a mask that replicated the contours and shapes of my drag face.” Sassy.
These printers, which create everyday objects from a digital file, are more appealing than you’d think – and they’re enjoying a return to the spotlight, says Michael Petch, editor-in-chief at 3D Printing Industry magazine.
“[Items like] the pre-historic bone costume are deservedly attention-grabbing and illustrate how creative people can harness the technology,” he says, adding that there’s been a rise in how the tech and fashion have aligned.
Petch refers to fashion designer Mingjing Lin, who uses 3D printing in fashion. In 2017, she showcased her Fold-the-Interfashionality project through a Beijing Opera performance. Just look at that outfit.
But it’s not only fashion making 3D printers sexy. Miss Monster, 26, an online fetish content creator and special effects artist based in New York, has started 3D printing her own sex toys. “My fiancée and I work together on it,” she says.
“I make the designs and he fine tunes everything for production. I was looking for a cost efficient way to make multiple copies of pieces in different sizes and 3D printing seemed like the perfect solution.”
Miss Monster is developing a full line of sex toys. “My favourite thing about it is that my printer can work while I work, or even better... while I sleep,” she says. “It’s like having a free assistant around the clock.”
What about the worrying report that sex toys created in this way could cause bacteria issues? “There’s nothing inherently dangerous about 3D printed toys as long as proper material is used,” says Miss Monster – who says you must clean them with soap and water, then mist with rubbing alcohol like any other toys.
Less sexy, but still pretty damn cool, is the world’s very first 3D printed stainless steel bridge – an actual weight-bearing, 12-metre-long, shimmering silver bridge built by robotic arms.
It’ll soon be installed across one of the oldest canals in Amsterdam. “Seeing the finished structure for the first time took my breath away,” says Professor Mark Girolami, from the Alan Turing Institute, which helped develop the bridge.
And 3D printers are doing good, too: Enzo Romero, from Peru, developed 3D printed prostheses for disabled people.
Romero was born without a hand. He was seven years old when he saw Luke Skywalker in Star Wars with a prosthetic limb. The film inspired his work to create prosthesis to those in Peru who could otherwise not afford them.
Mark Hamill – aka Luke Skywalker himself - even tweeted about Romero, calling him an “incredible real-life hero!” for crafting his designs.
How about that for 3D printing changing the world?
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