The “Kinematics” dress created by design firm Nervous System is a 4D printed garment made as a single, folded piece. Patterned from body scans, thousands of triangular panels and hinges were used to fabricate the custom-fit garment. Requiring no assembly, “the garment represents a new approach to manufacturing by integrating design, simulation and digital fabrication,” according to the company. The folding strategy compresses the garment into a smaller form for efficient fabrication that is capable of printing larger structures than the machine could normally create.
The company explains that while each component is rigid, in aggregate, they behave as a continuous fabric allowing the dress to flexibly conform and flow in response to body movement. This textile is not uniform, but varies in rigidity, drape, flex, porosity and pattern.
Since clothing designs generated in Kinematics Cloth are too large to fit in a 3D printer, the garment is compressed with their Kinematics Fold, a simulation tool for Kinematics designs. The Kinematics Dress was compressed by 85 percent by folding it in half twice.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York City has acquired the dress, along with the software that created it, for their permanent collection.