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Behind-the-Scenes at DittoForm

May 03, 2016
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Two prototype High Resolution DittoForms flank two Uniquely You custom dress forms in Bits of Thread's Washington, D.C., studio. You can see the difference in level of detail possible between the two types.

In the June/July 2016 issue of Threads (#185), Special Projects Editor Stephani L. Miller visited DittoForm, a unique custom dress form service that creates a foam form based on a 3-D body scan. As promised, here are more photos from the Threads editor visit to Bits of Thread in Washington, D.C., to learn about the DittoForm custom dress form process.

DittoForms behind the scenes

Two prototype High Resolution DittoForms flank two Uniquely You custom dress forms in the Bits of Thread, Washington, D.C., studio.

You can see the difference in level of detail possible between the two types.

DittoForms behind the scenes

This High Resolution DittoForm prototype shows how the 3-D imaging process captures the body’s unique contours and posture.

DittoForms behind the scenes

High Resolution DittoForms come with a medical IV stand for mounting. Installing the IV stand’s hook and hanging the DittoForm from the hook embedded in its neck enables the form to be used for pants fitting.

DittoForms behind the scenes

At Bits of Thread, a curtained-off section of a private room serves as the scanning booth. The white tower holds the 3-D imaging camera, and the client stands on the turntable in front of it (visible in the foreground).

DittoForms behind the scenes

After the client is scanned three times, the most accurate scan is chosen.

Allison Lince-Bentley, Bits of Thread owner and developer of the DittoForm, then opens the 3-D image in a CAD (Computer-aided drafting)program.

She removes the arms and legs from the 3-D figure and refines the image before it is sent for fabrication.

DittoForms behind the scenes

An industrial CNC (computer numerical control) router uses the 3-D image, split into vertical cross sections, to carve thick sheets of foam to make a High Resolution DittoForm.

DittoForms behind the scenes

The carved cross sections replicate the client’s contours.

DittoForms behind the scenes

Allison Lince-Bentley and fabricator Brad Bolte remove the foam layers for a half-scale DittoForm from the CNC router bed.

DittoForms behind the scenes

The layers fit together vertically and are glued to complete the client’s dress form.

DittoForms behind the scenes

Full-scale DittoForms are manufactured in the same way.

Also available are DIY DittoForm kits. Clients are scanned in the same way as for a High Resolution DittoForm, but the 3-D image is processed differently and fabrication is carried out differently to deliver horizontal cross sections of pliable foam. The client assembles the dress form layers at home following provided instructions.

DittoForms behind the scenes

Shown is a prototype DIY DittoForm.

DittoForms behind the scenes

Allison Lince-Bentley and her partner Mary Flynn work on a prototype DIY DittoForm to fine-tune the assembly process.

Photos: Natalie Cake 

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  1. AndreaLa May 24th

    Is this scanner anything like the scanner used by Unique Pattern Design Limited that was around in 2007? There still were adjustments needed to the pattern even with the use of a scanner. The concept was great but the promise of a good/ great fit missed the mark. I would love for the concept and the execution to be real now!

  2. user-2441886 May 17th

    I visited Bits of Thread back in February and actually had a session with Allison. She is a wonderful woman! I had my body scanned but have not ordered my form yet. I kept thinking that with the measurements from my scan session that it would be enough. However I am re-thinking that thought and will probably end up ordering my personal dress form.

    I did ask if they had thought about offering to create customized slopers and she had indicated that they had thought about offering that service.

    Be sure to check them out next time you are in the DC area!!

  3. User avater user-2415582 May 14th

    I looked at Dittoform website very resonable between 4 and 5 hundred 515 for xl. thats if you get the diy kit.

  4. User avater Keep_Learning May 12th

    Seems to me, as long as they have all your dimensions after a scan, it would be much less effort and materials to offer a sloper pattern for those who already have or don't want a form.
    Was DittoForm asked if that will become an available service in the future?
    Can't imagine that no body including DittoForm has not already thought of it. It's an natural bi-product of their process and the damand cannot be overestimated. In short order they could pay off the cost of the CNC rig without selling one form; just slopers. Why would they not tap that market? It's huge!

  5. KimsIdleHands May 10th

    My body is so wonky I have trouble with my standard extra-large dress form, this is something I really need. Just wondering about the cost.

  6. Jorgus887 May 9th

    It's always good and precious to see how huge companies make their insane collections. Thank you!

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