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Russians 3D-Printing Underwear After Lace Ban

Published: August 31, 2014 (Issue # 1826)



  • A model called the 3D-printed attire “interesting but not for everyday life.”
    Photo: For SPT

Earlier this summer, Russia's parliament took the controversial step of banning all underwear made from synthetic lace, preventing its manufacture and sale within the country. But if Russians don't like the ban, which labels the undergarments as harmful to Russian's health, they can always make their own — if they have a 3D-printer.

This August, Russia designer Viktoria Anoka hired 3DPrintus to create a pair of panties for the company Lascana, presented as part of St. Petersburg's technology fair "Geek Picnic."

"Lascana was definitely the craziest thing we have been asked to print," 3DPrintus founder and CEO Konstantin Ivanov told The St. Petersburg Times. The project took more than three months and is the first underwear to be printed in Russia.

Of course, the end product's plastic feel meant it wasn't entirely comfortable. Anastasia Belousova, who modeled the underwear for Lascana, said the attire was "interesting but not for everyday life."

But 3D-printing isn't just a novelty. The business, once confined to research laboratories, is on the rise. The process, in which printers lay down layer after layer of material, is hailed as revolutionary because it allows manufacturers to move production away from huge factories in faraway countries to more tailored, localized production.

There are about a dozen 3D-printing companies in Moscow. Businesses like 3DPrintus allow designers to upload their designs onto an online platform — www.3dprintus.ru — for customers to choose from. The customer then selects the product they want and chooses the material they would like it made from. "It allows designers to create a product and bring it to the public for much cheaper than if they were to make it in a factory," Ivanov said.

The variety of materials available is vast: everything from synthetic plastics to silver and gold. Even Ivanov's wedding ring, consisting of two intertwining bands of yellow and white gold, was printed with one of the machines. For a precious material like gold they first made a prototype, then a mold out of wax and finally the ring.

Although the 3D-printing process takes a long time, techniques are developing rapidly. When creating material out of stainless steel, for instance, 3DPrintus uses a computer to spray steel powder in layers, much like an inkjet printer.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Monday, Nov. 24


Dr. Axel Schulte, Department Head at Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics in Dortmund, Germany, is the featured speaker at the SPIBA Industrial Committee lecture on “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Digitalization of the Supply Chain.” The event begins at 4 p.m. at the Graduate School of Management at 3 Volkohvsky Pereulok and registration is required by Nov. 21 either by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.



Tuesday, Nov. 25


Tag along with AmCham during their “Industrial St. Petersburg” Tour program today. This incarnation of the ongoing series will visit Philip Morris Izhora and include an Environmental Health and Safety Committee meeting.


Find out how to expand your business east during the “Business With China” forum beginning today and concluding tomorrow at the Lenexpo convention center. The largest Russian forum dedicated to business with the Asian giant, topics that will be discussed include logistics, customs clearance, trade financing and many more.



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