Trend Alert: 3D Fashion

Image from 3dprintingindustry.com

In light of fashion week, I am sure all of you fashionistas have been keeping up with the latest runway trends just like I have been! However, something has recently drawn my attention to a lesser known trend that is bound to make waves rapidly in the industry — 3D printed fashion! It has been making appearances all NYFW. Personally, I love learning about emerging technology, so if you are interested, keep reading!

This whole idea is based off of Additive Manufacturing (AM), technologies or 3D printers that build 3D objects by creating layers of material to create a product. These creations can be made in a variety of materials such as plastic, metal, and ceramic. Believe it or not, this method was first introduced in the 1980s and has been evolving ever since.

Image courtesy of Shapeways.

What does this have to do with fashion you ask? Recently, companies like Shapeways are working with designers to actually 3D print accessories, jewelry, and even a fully-functioning dress! Designers Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg designed a wearable dress that was printed in one single folded piece that’s made from panels connected via hinges. It was so groundbreaking that it has been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art for the permanent collection.

X-ray view rendering. Image courtesy of Shapeways. 
Shapeways conducted an interview with Jessica Rosenkrantz:
“What do you see for the future of 3D printing in clothing and fabrics?We are particularly intrigued by how 3D printing applies to clothing in two areas: new meta-fabrics and customization.Additive manufacturing has to ability to create very complex structures. In the world of clothing and fabrics, this is particularly intriguing because we are already talking about constructed materials. Fabrics produced from fibers that are aggregated and connected to create cloth with certain properties. For instance, knit cotton has stretch and woven cotton does not. Typically these material properties are constant throughout a whole piece of fabric. With 3D printing, we can start to create really weird fabric-like assemblages or mashups. We can print a textiles with gradations of material properties like stretch, flex, warmth, color, etc.3D printing also favors the production of hyper-customized, one of a kind goods. We will see more apps like Kinematics that create custom-fit clothing and accessories from body data.”
The coolest thing about Shapeways is that you can actually design something and get it 3D printed! Check out the process:
How cool is that?! You can actually make the ideas in your head come alive. Once you have designed and created your product, you can actually sell what you created on the same website!
The 3D fashion industry is still being dabbled in and improvements are constantly happening. Watch out for it! I think it will no doubt be an emerging trend. Big designers/artists like Nike, Francis Bitonti, and Dita Von Tesese are already utilizing these methods. Definitely be on the lookout for this newest trend!
What do you think of this trend? Are you interested? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment!
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