3D Printing, 3D Scanning

Using 3D Scanning in the Fashion Industry

By David Ramsey on June 1, 2021

There is no doubt that wearing a quality fitted piece of clothing that you love can boost your confidence. In the exponentially growing world of online shopping, size and fit are among the top reasons customers return orders. Today, we find ourselves embracing 3D technology more than ever before, and surprisingly, this technology is poised to be the best defense against ill-fitting clothing. Many internationally renowned brands and designers are implementing 3D scanning as an essential tool to create custom-fitted pieces that will boost not only comfort but confidence when you wear them. 

Case Study: Custom 3D Printed Bras

Lidewij Vera Arí van Twillert is an engineer and designer who has been interested in fashion for a long time. Twillert realized that when most women choose a bra, they often have to choose between being comfortable, having support or being attractive. Every woman's body shape is different, so they are always battling one issue or another. From being too tight, gaps in the cups, straps that slide off the shoulders, or underwires that eventually push out of the fabric and poke into the skin, the search for the perfect fit seems fruitless. Because this is so common, it seems 'normal' to just have to make do and adjust as necessary throughout the day. Lidewij Vera Arí van Twillert was sure there was a better way.

Artec Eva Lite Custom Bra DesignVan Twillert's goal was to design a custom bra that fit a woman's exact curves. This including the straps measured for her shoulders, a design of her choice, and a style that fulfilled comfort needs. She says that 3D scanning inspired her to create the ultimate custom-fit bra. 

Artec Eva Lite Custom Bra Design No Touch Scanning

The design process for this endeavor required very specific measurements that couldn't be obtained through traditional methods. Van Twillert turned to  Artec's Eva Lite scanner to accomplish the objective. This affordable scanner can provide high-quality 3D scans when scanning geometrically rich objects, which makes it perfect for scanning the human body. The Artec Eva Lite made it possible to piece together multiple scans into one perfectly measured scan without the need to physically touch the client.

Artec Eva Lite Custom Bra Design Patented CurvearisVan Twillert began work on this project in grad school. With a design and plan in hand, she started her company, Ari van Twillert, after graduating in 2015. 

“With bras, form and function are not one; they are either comfortable or beautiful.” says van Twillert.

Not only is van Twillert's new design comfortable, supportive, and beautiful, but a key element of it is also the company’s patent-pending technology, Curvearis. The Curvearis is a patented alternative to the typically torturous underwire that uses 3Ds scanning for 3D-printed breast support that forms the technical blueprint for each piece. 

“Making a custom fit Curvearis without a 3D scan is not possible, as the Curvearis follows your curves precisely and uses 3D information from your body,” van Twillert says. “I program the Curvearis onto the 3D model of the customer’s body and derive the sewing patterns from the scan with my own algorithms.”

Artec Eva Lite Custom Bra Design Printed Curvearis TestAfter the steps of building the Curvearis, making the sewing patterns and cutting the fabric, a test model is printed. Next, a test bra is sewn in for a fitting. During the fitting, adjustments are made if necessary. Once you have the fit you're looking for, the 3D file is sent to production with the company’s 3D printing provider. The final bra will be made and sent to the customer.     

As her business grows, van Twillert expands her ideas and plans on the development of a new bustier to complement the bra line.

>> Read the Full Case Study

Case Study: Fashion with a Football Twist

Artec Eva in the Fashion Industry TemplatesVan Twillert isn’t the only designer getting in on 3D scanning. Anna Wilhelmi, a Berlin fashion designer, wanted to build a cutting-edge fashion collection with a bit of fun mixed in. American Football gave her inspiration because she was enamored of the bold silhouette and accentuated lines that the uniforms gave the players.

Anna made preliminary drawings and used those to create a form made from wire mesh. After she had this in place, she added plaster strips onto the form to develop her base model. 

Using the Artec Eva 3D scanner, more than a dozen models were scanned. With results in real-time, the scans offered the ability to view the progress instantly and re-scan as needed. Using the Artec Studio software, the scans were aligned perfectly into a single template. 

Artec Eva and Geomagic Freeform in the Fashion Industry

Using Geomagic Freeform, the scan templates were edited and the finishing touches were applied. Surfaces were smoothed out and the right side was aligned with the left.Artec Eva and Geomagic Freeform Digital Template for FashionWith the American football player uniform in mind, the design was further refined with straightened edges and a modified surface structure. 

                                    Artec 3D Scanned Fashion Template   Artec Eva in the Fashion Industry Finished Piece

For finishing touches, they incorporated eyelets, ties and other textiles. Ranging in appearance from large and strong to the more delicate, the final digital models were 3D printed. 

Artec Eva in the Fashion Industry Finished Piece with Football Players"The exciting thing about 3D technology for me is that I no longer have any technical limitations in the creation of my designs. I do not have to undergo the tedious process of understanding a 3D program to virtually create complex organic forms. Artec 3D Scanners are easy to use and I can easily digitize my hand-crafted models. There is no limit to my imagination. Things I cannot bring to life manually, I bring to life on the digital model - just fantastic! Artec 3D Scanners have made this possible for me,” said Wilhelmi.

>> Read the Full Case Study

This is just a small dose of examples that demonstrate the possibilities of 3D scanning in the fashion world. The ability to create tailored pieces is almost boundless. As 3D scanners in clothing stores gain traction, we will see more results in the retail world that can not only assist with a beautiful fit but can reduce waste and minimize product returns. Imagine custom-fit shoes, a bespoke watchband, or even form-fitting custom glasses. I am excited to see where fashion goes with 3D scanning and I hope you are too.

If you’re interested in more information and videos on how 3D printing and scanning is revolutionizing the fashion industry, read our article 'How 3D Printing is Changing the Fashion Industry'