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RapidMade Helps Bring Spider Dress to Life

December 23, 2014

At my age, I’m well past needing to fend off unwanted advances – especially using high-tech fashion – but there have been times when the revolutionary Spider Dress would have let me better navigate congested streets.  For the past few months, RapidMade has been helping the creative geniuses responsible for the Spider Dress bring it to life… 

Dutch designer Anouk Wipprecht envisioned a creation that would rely on embedded sensors to respond to its owner and her surroundings to provoke a defensive response from the 3D printed dress.  It can detect one’s stress levels as well as the proximity and approaching speed of others from as far away as 22 feet.

“‘I was keen on re-creating communicative aspects of animal behavior,’ Wipprecht tells Co.Design in an email. To do this, she created a garment that reflexively defends itself: If you enter the wearer’s personal space aggressively, the dress attacks. Animatronic arachnid limbs attached to its shoulders lash out at intruders. But if you approach calmly and slowly, these limbs might beckon you forward. ‘It almost dances with you,’ Wipprecht says.”

It has been a thrill for RapidMade to play a role in this project which has included:

“Austrian engineer and roboticist Daniel Schatzmayr. This past winter, she worked with technology company Intel to upgrade the design, using their new microcomputer, Intel Edison. It was test-printed in collaboration with 3-D printing companies Materialise and Autodesk, and the final product was manufactured with Rapid Made, a local 3-D printing company in Oregon. ‘They helped me create a perfect white-pearl finish, which I was never able to reach on my prior designs,’ Wipprecht says (the prototype was in black). Now, the dress is entirely 3-D printed and mechatronic, with extra-sensitive proximity and stress sensors.”

This isn’t Wipprecht’s first 3D printing venture.  Check out other projects: 

  • the Intimacy dress, which becomes transparent when electrified
  • the Smoke dress, which emits clouds of smoke
  • the DareDroid 2.0, which “makes fresh cocktails for its wearer.”
  • a dress that can produce 500,000 volts of electricity.  Fortunately, a built-in Faraday cage, protects the wearer from being electrocuted. 

The Spider Dress will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from January 6 to January 9, 2015, where it is being showcased for Intel.

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