It makes sense to 3-D print some things. Parts for a space station, for example, or children's toys. You wouldn't really think that clothing would make that list. But that's where you'd be oh so wrong.

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The garment you can see above is a 3-D printed dress, made by design studio Nervous System. Although it's not the first 3-D printed dress (that honour goes to a burlesque star), it's one of the first to be made on Nervous System's Kinematics system, software which can create complex structures composed of articulated modules. What that means is a 3-D printed dress that requires no assembly: take the pile of plastic out of the printer, wash it off, unfurl it, and you've got a dress. Of sorts.

This particular dress, and the software behind it, has been acquired by MOMA for their permanent collection. Although it's interesting as a piece of high-fashion concept, and will doubtless have textiles students in a hot mess disussing its application to the world of clothing, the technology also has more concrete applications. The ability to 3-D print a complex, multi-part object which doesn't require assembly could be huge for the fabricating industry.

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If you forget that the dress is just a dress, but rather remember that it's a complex object made up of thousands of individual pieces, pre-assembled, it's suddenly a lot more impressive. And, probably, chafes a little less. [Nervous System]