Windform 3D-printed custom face masks

Windform 3D-printed custom face masks
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Collagene Mask Editor and Windform materials to create 3D masks and objects. From the idea to the object in a while. Windform reinforced polyamide-based materials and 3D Printing. The revolution in design production has started.

People’ faces are scanned through a sensor and acquired in a digital environment. The software application written by the Italian designers of Do The Mutation generates customized masks for each person. The masks are produced as unique pieces through 3d printing and Windform 3D printing materials. On February 10th 2013 the first three models took part in Venice Carnival’ parades.

Windform 3D-printed custom face masks

The three masks were produced by CRP with their reinforced polyamide-based materials.

The creation of a set of masks offers the opportunity of deepening the sensibility throught a research on the relationship between body and dress, imagining the mask as the product of the growth of a virtual organism on the human face. The object keeps its traditional functions of body prosthesis, providing identity alteration and concealment, stimulating viewers’ imagination and visual association.

This project explores the border territory between physical and virtual, connecting computer code’s abstractions with the intimate, visceral dimension of body alteration’s sense brought by the mask theme. The topographic anatomy of the face acts as input for a set of algorithms that under designer’s control generate the fibers that form the object, creating a material formation that after 3d printing perfectly fits its territory, people’s faces.

The set of objects made in Windform LX 2.0, a polyamide-based material reinforced with fibre glass represent a population of differentiated individuals, phenotypes sharing the same genotype. No matter how many masks might be produced, they all will share the same genetic code. The system is then flexible in offering possibilities of formal and diagramatic variation, in creating even highly different objects, customizable on different faces and as expression of different designers.

Masks are produced through additive manufacturing technology, also known as 3d printing, and Windform materials by CRP Technology from Modena. This production technology is perfectly integrated in the design strategy, allowing to create any shapes as unique objects, each different from the other.

Windform 3D-printed custom face masks

All this technological benefits do not imply losses for the visual and material qualities of the objetcs thanks to the mechanical features of the material used: the Windform LX 2.0. It is a black polyamide-based material reinforced with glass fibre used in high performance fields from motorsport to aerospace industry. This kind of 3d printing materials are aesthetically pleasent, able to preserve in time the chromatic features, showing important mechanical characteristics that allow to create highly complex geometries avoiding the risk of breakings or deformations. The feeling on the skin is nice, allowing for a long-lasting dressing.

A new concept of the object is proposed, moving away from close models to be identically reproduced for open processes to be mass customized and led towards the production of unique pieces. The creation of a generative application allows a strong possibility of customization reducing the design effort on each object to a simple user interaction.

Form, structure, colour, size, ergonomics, pattern of the objects can be radically transformed according to personal preferences and features, and produced as unique pieces through 3d printing and CNC fabrication techniques, together with high quality and performing materials as Windform.

Windform 3D-printed custom face masks

The software application is written in Processing, programming open-source framework based on Java.

The face scan is performed through the kinect sensor, that allows to acquire the topographic and chromatic data of the models in the digital environment. The mask is created drawing traces on the digital faces of the models, from which the set of curves that forms the fiber system is generated. From the fiber system the application generates the 3d geometry that forms the mask body.

Masks were displayed at Milan Design Week inside the venue [Re]vive at Alzaia Naviglio Pavese 16, Tortona District.

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