Clash of Cultures: Fashion, Engineering, and 3D Printing

Clash of Cultures: Fashion, Engineering, and 3D Printing

Jennifer Loy (Griffith University, Australia) and Samuel Canning (Griffith University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9624-0.ch004
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In 2012, a Belgian company called Materialise hosted a fashion show featuring designs from a worldwide millinery competition. The featured pieces were paraded down a catwalk by professional models, and an overall winner chosen. What made this fashion show unusual was that the attendees were predominantly clinical and industrial engineers, and the host was a specialist engineering and software development company that emerged in 1990 from a research facility based at Leuven University. Engineers and product designers rather than fashion designers created the millinery and the works were all realized through additive manufacturing technology. This chapter provides an example of how fashion design has become a creative stimulus for the development of the technology. It illustrates how disruptive creativity has the potential to advance scientific research, with the two worlds of engineering and fashion coming together through a collaboration with industrial design. The chapter highlights the challenges and possible implications for preparing trans-disciplinary research teams.
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According to Milton and Rodgers (2013), “Unlike scientific research, design research is not concerned with what exists but what ought to be. Research in a design context breaks with the determinisms of the past; it continually challenges, provokes and disrupts the status quo” (p.11).

Research into additive manufacturing, now more commonly known as 3D Printing, has been embedded in scientific research communities since its inception. Dominated by materials science, mechanical engineering, robotics and medical research, it has developed incrementally, resulting in additional forms of the technology, such as material jetting and selective laser melting, and an increasing range of material properties, such as the bimetals developed by researchers at NTU. Progress in the field has been disseminated in research journals that are predominantly materials and technology focussed and that research has tended to be technical, as in the example by Qain (2015) on metal powders for additive manufacturing in the Journal of Minerals, Metals and Materials.

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