4D-Printed Designs Automatically Transform Into Wearable Clothes [Video]

4D-Printed Designs Automatically Transform Into Wearable Clothes [Video]

Design studio Nervous System's Kinematics project features a method that allows 3D-printed items to automatically change shape.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 4 december 2013

Design studio Nervous System has developed a method of 3D-printing accessories and clothing with special joints that allow them to automatically change shape without manual intervention after they are printed and removed from the printer.

The studio’s founders Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg call their Kinematics project as an example of 4D printing, which basically involves 3D-printing objects that automatically change into their intended shapes. What sets apart 4D-printing from 3D-printing is that the product does not need manual assembly or installation for it to transform into a pre-determined shape.


Nervous System first developed a software to create 3D models that are flexible and are linked with hinges. The 3D models are then compressed to maximize the size of a 3D printer. After printing, the product simply unfolds into its intended form.

The Kinematics project demonstrates how large objects can be created from a small printer, thanks to computational folding which compresses the object into a “printable” size.

The studio is currently working on a one-piece dress that is larger than the printer space. It is also working on accessories that are printed out as flat sheets but automatically conform to the wearer’s body shape.


Nervous System began developing the project last year and first produced jewelry that were made of tessellated hinged triangles and were printed out as flat sheets but conformed to the body shape of the wearer.

The studio has also developed an online application that lets users customize the design of the jewelry. Users can then order the piece or use a second application to experiment with the studio’s templates and print the object on their own.

Nervous System is hoping to produce their first dress in January.

Watch the video about the project below.

Nervous System

Source, Images: Dezeen


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