3D printing has settled for good in the fashion industry. We’ve already seen the greatest industry designers present this technology on their catwalks. It has also become increasingly common among the young and wild ones. Where is this all heading? How can fashion make use of this trend? For now, let us reflect on this—when virtually all of us know the entire behind the scenes of the process of manufacturing Dita von Teese’s dress, assembled from 17 sections printed independently, 3,000 links, and more than 13,000 Swarovski crystals, but somehow it’s still too soon for us to be able to 3D-print fully original T-shirts in the privacy of our homes.
Macedonian fashion designer Irina Tosheva is not afraid to experiment with technology, particularly 3D printing.
Shoes by Cristina Franceschini, made from Z-PCABS—exceptionally durable and resistant to high temperatures.
threeASFOUR debuted its 2014 spring/summer line at the Jewish Museum
A 3D-printed collection Danit Peleg created for her final design project (danitpeleg.com)
Shorter lead times time and fast prototyping
One of the most valuable advantages of 3D printing in this context is the possibility of quick sample making. It is said that the first company to ever use this method was Reebok. The company printed the first prototypes of running shoes already in 1997. Using their own printers, the company was and still is able to pass their designs forward to testing more quickly, which in consequence leads to the final products finding their way to distribution much sooner. Their competitor, Puma, boasts that due to the use of 3D printers for prototyping, the time needed to make samples has been reduced from four days to just one and that communication between design teams located around the globe has improved significantly.
Sole spikes made with 3-D printing technology (photo: New Balance)
Small business, major changes
Jewelry made by Italian architect Roberta Conti (http://www.brujita.me/)