From gossamer angel's wings and exotic headdresses to elegant full-length gowns, the 3D printing industry has taken the fashion world by storm, but the Laser Girls,
Sarah C. Awad and Dhemerae Ford are 3D printing the most elaborate fingernails likely to be seen on or off the fashion runway.
While the team's avant-guard creations may have been inspired by the fashion world, the two want women (and even a few men have expressed interest in them) to wear their creations when they step off the runway and into everyday life.
"I think it's moved from high fashion into something every woman can wear," Awad said.
The two got the idea for the nails about two years ago while working together in the 3D printing lab at New York University.
"We didn't think they would work, but we were surprised," Ford said. "We thought they would be too thin, plus we weren't sure about what level of detail we would get."
If worn with care, routinely cleaned with acetone and sanded before being reapplied, the nails can last as long as six months or more without chipping. And the level of detail is nothing short of inspiring – running the gambit from scientific themed to sinister.
A set of nails runs anywhere from about $35 for nylon to around $80 for metal, including brass and silver. They can be held in place with standard nail glue and some of their designs can even be slid on like a ring. Double sided photo tape works well too.
The two usually begin designs in SolidWorks CAD software to hammer out the technical side of things, like exact measurements, and then finish up in ZBrush, to add a little more of a blended and organic feel.
A set of brass nails with a series of triangular contours on them were "inspired by optical illusions," Ford said. "I was hoping to change color tones in the nail, (it was also inspired by) geometry and science fiction."
While the longer nails adorned with gothic lattice work and points were intended to be, "sinister looking and a little more dramatic," Awad said.