Do what? “It’s a mask.” I said. Walking into the grocery story on 5th avenue, you would think the typical stares, the people piling their probiotic drinks and organic nut bars into their recyclable bags, would be fewer. That is until a baby cries and his big sister yells, “HIS FACE SKIN IS A GENERATIVE POLYMIDE FIBER STRUCTURE ENCASING HIS SKULL, MAMA!” It’s all quiet. An orange falls offf the display. Fortunately, the mask conceals that single tear. Mainstream acceptance of 3D printed masks may be a few years off, but as an art form, displayed throughout various galleries around the world, it’s quite the interest. Especially when software is developed to capture and create the unique structures wrapping the gourd. DO THE MUTATION did just that, developing the COLLAGENE mask editor to form customized masks for three different people.

nnx-014 - fibers

Fiber my Face

DO THE MUTATION is a two person generative deisgn lab near Modena, Italy. Founders, Filippo Nassetti and Alessandro Zomparelli worked in collaboration with EDGELAB S space and form strategies to realize the mask concept. The COLLAGENE software application itself is written in Processing, a opensource framework based on Java, and uses the Toxiclibs libraries to generate the isosurface. The topographic and chromatic data of the face is first captured with a Kinect, then paths are drawn across the imported data to simulate the formation of a fiber system growing across the face.

do the mutation - 3D printed mask process

do the mutation - 3D printed mask process

do the mutation - 3D printed mask process

do the mutation - 3D printed mask process

Once the paths are traced and form tweaked, the mask is sent off to be printed. Fabrication of the pieces was completed by CRP GROUP using their Windform LX 2.0 material, a black polymide-based material reinforced with glass fibers that is used in motosports and aerospace. You can read more on the entire technique here. Though odd, the application extends beyond mask to any object; creating objects or attire made from a common material, with the designer wielding control over the form, to create a customized fit for any person.

COLLAGENE . mask editor from do the mutation on Vimeo.













Source: Do the Mutation


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.