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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

Tuesday, Oct. 21


The Environment, Health and Safety Committee of AmCham convenes this morning at 9 a.m. in the organization’s office.


Take the opportunity to pick the brains of Dmitry V. Krivenok, the deputy director of the Economic Development Agency of the Leningrad region, and Mikhail D. Sergeev, the head of the Investment Projects Department, during the meeting with them this morning hosted by SPIBA. RSVP for the event by emailing office@spiba.ru before Oct. 17 if you wish to attend.


Improve your English at Interactive English, the British Book Center’s series of lessons on vocabulary and grammar in an informal atmosphere. Starting at 6 p.m., each month draws attention to different topics in English, with the topic for this month’s lessons being “visual arts.”



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