GothamSmith’s rocking headphone-shaped cufflinks aren’t just cool because they make you look like a DJ—they are produced using 3-D printing technology. They start as a powder and become hard metal.
GothamSmith, along with four other companies working in the 3-D printing and technology—Shapeways, Continuum Fashion, Shulogique and Lofty—spoke at Decoded Fashion’s Startup Showcase: Fashion in 3-D last week at Space530. The sold-out meetup event drew fashion experts, media professionals, venture capitalists, lawyers, creatives, and tech enthusiasts who discussed pros and cons of each company and products.
Shapeways, a leader in the field, is an New York-based 3-D printing company that allows a community of members to “make stuff,” everything from jewelry to glasses to handbags. Director of Marketing Carine Carmy passed around a variety of objects created by Shapeways’ users, including a “diamond necklace” and miniature windmill. Shapeways offers entry into the field by offering low-cost products, a company value that Carmy expressed: “Custom doesn’t have to be couture.”
That perspective carried through to GothamSmith as well, as the four men behind it design and produce men’s accessories at affordable price points. Daniel Stillman explained the difference between printing stainless steel, bronze and gold as printed metals and the printing process: layers of stainless steel powder are mixed with a binder. The core is heated, hardening the binder. More powder is added before a second heating process. This results in a final product that is firm and metal like a cut metal but produced from a powder. To give the accessories a touch of flair, each object is tumble polished or electroplated. Any quirks are just part of the product.
We also demo’ed Shulogique’s scanning process for custom high heels. Females step onto a scanning platform which takes 10,000 measurements of each foot and creates a 3-D model which can be fitted with different styles of high heel. The customer then picks and chooses which styles they want for a pair of custom shoes. You can even see a virtual projection of your foot in the different pairs of shoes!
For more on our Fashion in 3-D showcase, including highlights from Continuum Fashion and Lofty, check out the video recap here.
Join our Meetup here.