3D printing branches

Hans Boodt mannequins

Hans Boodt Mannequins is leading in the mannequin industry. Few people realize that every sculpture of a mannequin is a work of art. Mannequins are the ultimate form of display for every clothing store around the world. And when the finest brands in fashion need mannequins, they go to Hans Boodt Mannequins, a Dutch company that makes unique high-end mannequins for the most discerning fashion designers and brands. Customers of Hans Boodt are fashion labels such as Calvin Klein, Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger.

Visit Hans Boodt Mannequins – www.hansboodtmannequins.com

“3D printing has revolutionized the way we work at Hans Boodt. 3D printing sculptures of mannequins can be done at request, with an unprecedented level of quality and in a matter of days.”


Coen Viguurs – Product Development Manager at Hans Boodt Mannequins

The challange for Hans Boodt

Few people realize that every sculpture of a mannequin is a work of art. The traditional method was to sculpt the anatomical perfection of a mannequin from clay by hand. “Designing a single figure out of clay is very expensive and time consuming, that is the same for every player in the market,” explains Coen Viguurs, Product Development Manager at Hans Boodt Mannequins. The old production process was spread throughout the high-end mannequin industry. Sculpting by hand was just the way this industry worked. The whole production process takes around eight weeks, especially when multiple designs or assemblies are required.

Innovate and differentiate

Simultaneously, fashion brands are under intense pressure to innovate and differentiate. A mannequin became a part of the “total design” around a brand, fashion show, label or collection. Mannequins had to keep up with time: colors, expressions, faces, and poses often had to be completely customized. Leading brands wanted unique looks to support their brands. The handmade mannequins fit perfectly into the pressure for uniqueness, but there were other pressures as well.
Companies were looking to decrease their time to market and be more responsive. At the same time, they wanted to be quicker to get designs from the catwalk into the stores. This meant that the custom mannequins had to keep pace with the time pressure of the fashion industry. The old way of producing mannequins could not keep up with today’s increased demands.

Shorter time to market

Just as its customers wished to be quicker to market, so did the company. Last minute changes were slowing down development. The production time of eight weeks put serious pressure on the Dutch company. Simultaneously, they wanted to speed up their development and become more flexible as an organization. Time to look at alternative manufacturing processes.

3d printing in signage and retail
3d printing in signage and retail

The solution for Hans Boodt

They quickly found out that their problem was a tough one to solve. Unique life-sized pieces often become frightfully expensive very quickly. Technologies such as CNC could do the trick but given the size of pieces that Hans Boodt Mannequins needed, the capital investment required would be significant. Material costs would also be high since in their case large blocks of material would need to be cut into mannequins. Other large processes were able to make things in inexpensive materials such as EPS foam. These parts were more manageable in cost, but they did not have the longevity, strength, and finish that met their customer’s expectations.

Additive Manufacturing or 3D Printing

The company soon noticed that 3D printing would be a possible solution for quick prototyping and developing sculptures of mannequins. 3D printing with the right materials and design could speed up their innovation.  Here however, it was difficult to find the right tools. They needed a life size printer. They knew that with some work the right 3D sculpture prints could be produced.

Hans Boodt Mannequins found itself in a classic problem of a solution technically existing but not available to them, yet. They have heard of larger scale 3D printers that could make objects 90CM tall and higher. There were some large delta 3D printers in existence as well. However, it was not until they had found Tractus3D that their business case and 3D printing sculptures of mannequins seemed viable. We have machines that could make the right sized 3D sculpture prints at the right price.

With two of our T3500, and a T1250, they were able to disrupt the mannequin market even more than they already did.

Making a Mannequin 2.0
A video by Hans Boodt Mannequins

  • ✓ Make complex concepts reality by creating sculpture prints
  • ✓ Able to make entire sculpture prints at once with large volume 3D printers
  • ✓ Reducing development time from months to days

3D printers used by Hans Boodt mannequins

The T1250 is the mid range industrial 3D printer in our DESK series.