It is undeniable that you have heard of the iconic French fashion house, Dior. What you may not know is that the Dior Gallery located on the famous Avenue Montaigne in Paris has had a makeover since March 9. Several 3D-printed objects currently decorate its main staircase, replicating thousands of items from the company’s heritage collection. Printed in 3D by LA FERME 3D©, one of the largest 3D printing parks in France, these objects are exact replicas of famous bags, shoes, perfume bottles, hats, which have made the house famous, all in different colors . The result is an impressive trompe l’oeil called DIORAMA, which required more than 100,000 hours of printing, 10,000 hours of post-processing and more than 30 printers working day and night for 6 months.
The ALIGHIERI agency is at the origin of this remarkable project. The agency was founded by Simon Jaffrot and Noémie Bourgeois, who have been in the world of art, its museums, exhibitions and the development of works for almost 20 years. In 2014, they created a staging of original accessories from the Dior Heritage collection, in the form of color gradients for Dior. This scenery will become recurring in all the exhibitions of the fashion house, to this day. The Dior Gallery project pushed the agency to propose a modulated and reproducible version, impossible to achieve with its traditional working methods. Thus began the adventure of 3D printing.
LA FERME 3D © displays extraordinary printing resources
The ALIGHIERI agency approached LA FERME 3D © to find out the feasibility of this project. Given the deadlines and the number of objects to reproduce, the French company decided last July to multiply its already high number of VOLUMIC 3D printers. As a result, the company now has more than 30 state-of-the-art machines, capable of working non-stop to guarantee high production volumes. In addition to its 3D printers, LA FERME 3D © calls on partners to achieve its manufacturing goals; thus, in December 2021, more than 100 machines were dedicated to the Dior project.
Florent Carasco, Founder of LA FERME 3D©, explained: “This is one of the most important challenges that the LA FERME 3D © teams have had to face since the creation of the company, to allow the installation of the objects on time in the windows of one of the most beautiful galleries in the world. . Thanks to the precision and robustness of the mechanics of the VOLUMIC 3D printers, we were able to develop extreme configurations to overclock the equipment and produce the most complex objects at incredible speeds. This winning duo of hardware and experience is truly the key to the success of this giant production.”
Make the replicas in 3D
The Dior Gallery project goes far beyond the aspect of 3D printing. It was necessary to reproduce identically the collection pieces of the emblematic French haute couture house. The first step was to digitize the objects in the collection using high-performance 3D scanners. Finesse and resolution were paramount: every seam, every detail, every fold had to be carefully captured. This meticulous work was carried out by Florian Moreno from AGP and his team. LA FERME 3D© then modified the resulting files to make them compatible with FFF 3D printing.
For more than six months, the VOLUMIC 3D printers were in operation day and night. Ultimately, over 100,000 print hours were logged, with over a ton of bio-sourced material used. Then came the assembly and post-processing stage. The 3D objects were painted and, in some cases, decorated with original jewelry and accessories. This was a long-term project that required the LA FERME 3D © teams to increase their skills to meet the requirements of the ALIGHIERI agency, the house of DIOR and the imposed deadlines. In total, more than 10,000 hours of post-processing were necessary to obtain the final result.
Florent Carasco continued: “The increase in skill of the post-processing teams was absolutely stunning, reaching levels far higher than the first prototypes proposed during the permanent summer 2021 exchanges with the ALIGHIERI agency. This reinforced experience in the sublimation of 3D printed objects is becoming our trademark. An internal knowledge, a skilled workforce, a 100% made in France manufacturing and 100% bio-based materials, together with a ten times greater experience in 3D printing, have really made us grow and open doors that are not yet seen” .
The installation at the Dior Gallery
As the final step of this unique project, the ALIGHIERI agency asked FERME 3D© to participate in the installation of all these 3D printed replicas at 30 avenue Montaigne in Paris, with its and Dior’s teams. This was a great challenge for the FERME 3D © teams, since they had to meet the deadlines for the official opening of the Gallery, and also ensure the adjustment and calibration of the works. The team dedicated to the installation had to place the objects in a very precise order given the narrowness of the display cases, but also to identify in real time the missing pieces to pass them on to the team in charge of production.
These 3D printed objects are mixed with real miniature couture dresses designed by specialized workshops. The result is harmonious and colourful, giving DIORAMA its charm and identity. In all, 1,874 pieces were brilliantly installed in the windows surrounding the staircase, including 452 dresses. The famous bottle of Miss Dior from 1947 and the famous dress worn by Lady Di at the 1996 Met Gala are among the items on display. In any case, this project is living proof of the flexibility of 3D printing and its capabilities!
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*Cover photo credits: F. Carasco