3D printed fascinator by Danica Errard and Jesse Leeworthy

Say what? A 3D printed fascinator? I’m still getting my head around what a 3D printer actually does and looks like, let alone how the heck it can start ‘printing’ fascinators. Confused? Me too.

So my gorgeous fascinator for The Melbourne Cup this year was by super talented milliner Danica Errard (DE), and it is the first 3D printed fascinator EVER made. She came up with the idea to ‘print’ a fascinator and found product design engineer Jesse Leeworthy (JL) to make her design dreams come true. So what was the process?

First we spoke to Danica Errard:

- What made you consider 3D printing a fascinator?

I was chatting to a friend who’s in the Print industry and he’d asked if I’d seen the components made by a 3D printer, he then googled it, I was like “this is amazing I’m going to design a headpiece for My Collection” and set out on a 3D mission. I literally jumped in my car, still out front of his office and called 12456!

- Did you go in with a design in mind?

I worked from my love of architecture and sculpture, taking elements from both, so nothing in particular, just knew it needed to be “Wow”

- Were there any limitations or can 3D printers do anything?

I think as far as I know, size is the only thing that’s limited as it can only print to specific dimension.

- How long has the process been?

I started my process back in Early July 13, had spoken to another engineer over many many weeks, he didn’t “Get” me, I was worried it wouldn’t come to fruition, then I was put in contact with the amazing Jesse, through the guys at Rapid Pro. Jesse understood what I was raving on about and he had me sorted in only a few days. By that stage it was nearing Carnival and I wasn’t giving up until it was done n dusted!

- Do you see this as a future trend in millinery?

For me yes indeed!

- How economical is it?

My specific headpiece wasn’t economical as the process of drafting CAD file is very time consuming and the actual “Printing” was approx a 12 hr process and not cheap.

To find out more about Danica, head here

Now lets talk to Jesse Leeworthy, the product design engineer:

- In a nutshell, please explain 3D printing for the average Joe?

3D printing is essentially a process of making a physical object from a three dimensional digital model. It typically involves the digital model being sliced into hundreds of 2D layers that are then sent to the 3D printer. The object is formed by laying down successive thin layers of material.

3D printers generally print in plastics, nylon and plaster. Printing can range from between 20 minutes to 2-3 days at a time depending on the geometry and complexity of the model.

- Have you done fashion/accessories 3D printed designs before?

This is actually the first time that I have been involved in the creation of a fashion product. It has been a great experience working alongside Danica to form an iconic piece that would be impossible to manufacture using traditional processes.

- Talk me through the process involved in ‘printing’ this fascinator and your collaboration with Danica?

Danica came to me with an idea to create the first rapid prototyped hat for the spring racing carnival. Aligning Danica’s Milliner talents with my knowledge of rapid prototyping and product design engineering we set to work.

We worked closely together to define and redefine the form of the head piece through sketching forms and mock up models before I transformed the design into a 3D virtual model using CAD software. Once the virtual model was aligned with Danica’s original vision we forwarded the files to the state of the art company Rapidpro; working on a tight deadline Rapidpro were able to print, finish (sanding, painting, polishing) and ship the Nylon head piece back to Danica within 30 hours of it leaving my design house.

Rapidpro – (www.rapidpro.com.au)

- Is 3D printing something you can see being used more and more in fashion? How do you foresee its application?

3D printing is a rapidly growing area that will have an eclectic range of uses in the near future; it has the potential to revolutionize not only the fashion industry but medical, industrial and consumer industries alike.

There is a very real possibility that 3D printing will allow products and fashion items to be manufactured at or close to the place of purchase; this will allow for a reduction in transportation requirements and assist in reducing environmental impacts. The subsequent step will be portable 3D printing machines located within households; accompanied with raw materials, the user will be able to download their favourite designs and print anything from shoes to dining chairs.

Please find some additional information on Jesse’s work as a product design engineer at www.jesseleeworthy.com


Leave a Comment