Fabricademy 2017

Week 2: Digital Bodies

Anastasia Pistofidou

Throughout our history we observe that the human body and its representation are of high importance in arts, sciences, medicine, psychology, etc.

A fashion designer uses the human figure as his white paper to produce his masterpiece. In the same way authors were using pencil and paper, then typewriter, keyboard and currently voice dictation, the tools of the fashion designer evolved through time.

On the way of enabling mass customization, the fashion industry is claiming for new tools that can scan and fabricate unique digitally tailored garments. How can one have access to a digital tailor that responds to his specific needs?

This class introduces new digital tools that complement hand tools in order to design, represent, make and modify the human figure that can then be used as a canvas for creation. We challenge the fashion designer to step away from the simple copy of the human figure as support of his work and start his creative process from its very beginning : the design of the canvas itself.

During this class you will have an overview of tools and softwares that you can use for design and prototyping your ideas. You will get the basic training and safety measurements for using the infrastructure of the laboratory.

Program outline

  • References of the representation of the human figure in art
  • The mannequin in haute couture
  • Human proportions
  • Measuring the body
  • Digital fabrication techniques : waffle, stucking, triangulation, radial, bending, kurf patterns
  • Scanning
  • Laser cutting
  • 3D printing
  • CNC milling
  • Vacuum forming
  • Materials
  • 3D Scanning
  • 3D Modeling


  • 3d scanner
  • kinect, sense3d, etc
  • 3d modelling software: rhinoceros 3d & grasshopper, solidworks, fusion360, freecad, blender etc
  • makehuman
  • open fit lab open frameworks
  • laser cutter
  • big milling machine
  • vacuum forming


  • cardboard 3mm
  • hi density foam
  • wood & veneer
  • composites materials
  • resins, bio -resins -plastics, epoxy etc
  • fibers, cotton, hemp, linen, jute, etc
  • vacuum bags


Use software to obtain a body-figure and a digital fabrication process to produce it (the production happens in groups of 3-4)

We recommend :

For nodes that they need to have mannequins to exhibit their creations we suggest to create a more conventional figure that they can use.

For nodes that already have mannequins, you can experiment with different figures and forms!

How will it be evaluated?

  • document use of a 3D scanner to acquire a model
  • document repair of 3D model mesh
  • experimented with the combination of milling, laser cutting, vacuum forming and composites
  • built your own mannequin
  • include all the files in the documentation

Lecture notes

Download the presentation