Attention manufacturers and retailers, the apparel industry is changing with the introduction of 3D printers. With 3D printing technology, it will no longer be necessary to purchase anything off the rack as consumers will literally be able to print out their entire wardrobe with a few key strokes.
Since 2010 3D printing has been redefining the fashion and apparel world and how clothing is made. In recent years, it has become even more accessible and many companies are implementing the printer in leu of of cutting and sewing by hand.
Less than 5 years ago a 3D printer could run as much as $10,000. Nowadays a high end SLA desktop printer can be picked up for around $5,000. This means, soon more new designers will have access to this technology, but more importantly, consumers will be able to print out their own garments. What does this mean for the environment? Less over production means less pollution which’s good news for the earth.
Quite a few fashion designers are embracing 3D printing already.
Dutch designer Iris van Herpen has been using this new technology since 2010 for both her Ready-To-Wear as well as her Couture. As recently as Spring Summer 2018 at Paris Fashion Week designer Iris van Herpen showcased a dress that had ornament details made with a 3D printer. Since this was possibly the first of the Parisians Haute Couture designers to employ the use of this technology, one can only guess what her future designs will be like.
At New York Fashion Week 2013, Dita Von Tesse walked the runway in the first fully 3D printed dress. The stunning gown was designed by Michael Schmidt and architect Francis Bitonti.
Since these two trailblazers, the future of fashion construction has been evolving slowly. For 2018 Autumn/Winter, creative director for Demna Gvasalia, Balenciaga took the traditional rules of tailoring and threw them out the window. By taking 3D scans of his models bodies, he was able to optimize the fit of his jackets. Consequently, there are only two seams on the jackets, at the sides and at the arm holes. The collection was nominated for the 2018 3D Printing Industry Award.
Laura Taka Taka takes inspiration from medicine and physic and it shows in her 3D designs. Her sculptural neck cuff which was built as a concept of an endotracheal intubation. "Inspired by endotracheal intubation and the fusing of biological material and synthetic. I am intrigued by medical procedures that alter the human form and wanted to manifest that intrigue into a sculptural neck piece,’’ according to Laura.
Anouk Wipprecht takes a scientific approach to her to create her interactive designs. Her 3D printed designs are space age as her dresses can actually sense emotions that lead to functional behaviors. For example, Wipprecht’s Spider Dress has articulated legs that spread out over the wearers personal space when danger or stress are presented. Also known as smart clothing, this is yet another example of how 3D printing technology is revolutionizing the fashion industry.
Designer Danit Peleg has been using 3D technology since 2015 to create her masterpieces. She took the concept virtual with introduction of her 3D bomber jacket which I sold exclusively online. At $1,500, the customer is given the options to choose their fabric and lining colors. They even let the consumer pick a personal label before being virtually fitted.
3D printing is a game changer. As more designer embrace this technology, the future of fashion will be interesting, to say the least.
By Anthony Starr