3D printed stained glass corset, from the Garden of Eden collection. Source: Dr. Michaella Janse van Vuuren
3D printed stained glass corset, from the Garden of Eden collection. Source: Dr. Michaella Janse van Vuuren

Dr. Michaella Janse van Vuuren, a South African designer and engineer, has found paradise in her “Garden of Eden” fashion collection. Dr. Vuuren has created her vision with the help of the Stratasys Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D printer. This printer can print in full color in hundreds of material composites.

Van Vuuren’s collection retells the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, where Eve is master of the serpent and does not allow evil to flourish in her presence. In this retelling, Eve prevents the fall of paradise and her descendants are not punished for any wrong-doing. With this central theme, Van Vuuren’s pieces are bright, colorful and full of symbolism.

“In this depiction, the woman is free, powerful, and in full control. She can be anyone she wants to be, the author of her own destiny,” explained van Vuuren.

The Garden of Eden series includes a Stained Glass corset, which echoes the stained glass windows in churches, and features flowers, berries, and leaves of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden.

In order to get the look of stained glass, van Vuuren worked with Tal Ely, Stratasys’ Materials Engineer and used a custom palette with three base materials: Clear transparent and rubber-like materials combined with VeroMagenta to create the pink and purple colors.

Other pieces of the collection include a Classic Serpent belt and several pairs of shoes that feature a serpent, to show that it is the serpent that is subjugated and not the woman. The shoes are created with rigid parts to support the foot and rubber-like elements for flexibility and comfort. The shoes are printed in full color. The belt was created using flexible material and is meant to be worn as the woman’s coat of arms.

Fish in Lilies bracelets evoke the presence of water in paradise. “Depicting the water features in the Garden of Eden, the Fish in Lilies bracelet explores rigid mechanical solutions to bend the bracelet around the wrist while the Fish in Coral piece experiments with different material properties to create a more rubbery part,” said van Vuuren.

“The ability to combine rigid and flexible materials in one piece is something that is so rare, and introducing color into the process inspires us creatives to think in a whole new way,” said van Vuuren.