Tessa’s Designer Pick – 3D Printing and Nervous System


Tessa Blokland  

Kinetic Dress_dress fabrication_900x600

It is already September! The first blog post of a new month is always dedicated to a designer or design group working with 3D printing. This month I would like to focus on American artists/programmers/makers/designers Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, who together founded Nervous System in 2007. What I like about their work is how they translate patterns and structures found in nature into computer programs which are then manufactured as tangible 3D printed products. Here are some examples of their work:

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) commissioned Nervous System to create a new dress, which resulted in a 3D printed red Kinematics Petal Dress. Their first Kinematics Dress (see the model wearing the dress in the bottom image), was designed with flat hinged elements, whereas the Petal Dress takes it a step further – all the hinges are hidden behind an ‘armor of parametric petals’ (up top is the fabrication process).

New Balance came to us with a problem,” said Nervous System to design platform Dezeen. “They wanted to improve the design and creation of their 3D printed midsoles to better adapt to performance data from runners.” Thanks to their skills and experience in programming and their knowledge of 3D printing, Rosenkrantz and Louis-Rosenberg were able to translate computer-generated data into 3D printed personalized midsoles for runners.

Nervous System finds inspiration from nature – Rosenkrantz graduated from MIT with degrees in biology and architecture, as you can see in the Hyphae Jewelry, a collection of jewelry made from 3D printed metals.

The Duo’s 3D printed work is often a materialization of their computer generative systems, such as the 3D printed trophy for the Automattic Design Awards in 2018. The 3D printed structure of the trophy was grown in one of Nervous System’s computer programs, called Corollaria software. If you would like to know more about this algorithm, please have a read in the Corollaria blog post. I think the design of the trophy looks great and even greater with light!

Jessica Rosenkrantz (left) and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg (right) with model Lana Briscella at Shapeways New York, wearing the first 3D printed Kinematics Dress, composed of thousands of interlocking components. The dress is a single folded piece and needs no assembly.

LEO Lane_Designer Pick_Nervous System

Each of Tessa’s designer pick is a curated group of 3D printed designs or projects from one designer or design studio. If you would like to offer a designer or design studio for Tessa, or if you have your own 3D printed designs or projects you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest picks every week in your mailbox.

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