Tech
Fashion to Fit: Is 3d scanning the future of custom clothing?
23 May 2015

3d printed shoeHave you ever seen those cool 3D printed casts that look like spider webs that wrap around the arm or the stunning 3D printed dresses or shoes that you just can’t take your eye off?


3d printed Verlan Dress

At some stage you’ve probably wondered how they make products which fit the human body so perfectly? Do the companies that produce them measure every centimetre of the model just to fit the 3D printed dress around her? Actually, they 3D scan the model’s body! (Or arm, or foot).

There are many different types of 3D scanners out there, ranging from contact scanners which measure the objects (or a person’s) dimensions through physical touch, to non-contact scanners which emit a kind of radiation or light onto the subject to scan it. The non-contact scanners scan the object by measuring the distance from the point where the light hits the object to the scanner, all around the object, creating the 3D model. These models can then be imported into any 3D modelling program. Some 3D scanners can be very large and permanent while others are more mobile, like hand-held 3D scanners.

So what if you want to scan something but you don’t have an expensive purpose built 3d scanner? What if you want to create a 3D model of yourself to see if you could create wearables that would fit your body? You might think that 3D scanners are the only way to go and without them it’s a “no-go” but there are a range of programs that let you take pictures with your camera or even your phone in order to generate a 3D model.

3d printed arm cast

For example, 123D CATCH by Autodesk lets you take pictures around your target object, as well as below and above it, to generate a full 3D model of your object, and it’s free! It works on PC’s as well as Android and Apple phones, and it’s such an easy and effective way of producing your own 3D model that you can use it anywhere you want.

We tried it ourselves. Some models were a bit off due to bad pictures taken beforehand, but after a while we got the hang of how to efficiently use the program. Now you can get a 3D model and design different things around your own body yourself. This could mean that the future of fashion really is custom everything!

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