Every year, designers are pushing the boundaries of creativity by creating new materials and methods for 3D printing. 3D printing and scanning are being used to create entire collections, accessories, and even one-of-a-kind pieces that are made to order. Here are some of the ways that 3D tech is revolutionizing the fashion industry:
Creating new materials
Materials have been a huge barrier to 3D printing because, unlike traditional manufacturing, 3D printers cannot work with traditional materials. In 2014, Adidas made headlines by creating the world’s first 3D printed running shoe, made with a unique rubber material called thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). This material is strong, elastic, and durable, making it perfect for sports shoes. Since then, Adidas has continued to experiment with 3D printing materials and released its first full-length 3D printed running shoe in 2018.
Making custom-fit clothes
3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the way we make clothes. In the past, made-to-measure clothes were expensive and time-consuming to produce. With 3D scanning and printing, custom-fit clothes can be made quickly and cheaply. For example, in 2015, the company New Balance released a limited-edition 3D printed sneaker that could be customized to fit each individual’s foot.
The fashion industry is notoriously wasteful, with millions of tons of clothes ending up in landfills each year. 3D printing could help to reduce waste by allowing people to print only what they need. For example, the Dutch fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht has created a dress that can be printed in different sizes, eliminating the need for excess material. In 2016, a team from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna created a dress that was made entirely from recycled PET bottles and designed to be 3D printed.
3D printing has been a creative outlet for designers, allowing them to work on designs that cannot be made with traditional manufacturing. In 2017, Iris van Herpen made history as the first designer to show 3D printed clothes at Paris Fashion Week. Many designers are now experimenting with custom 3D printed materials and printing entire collections made from one material.
Making fashion accessible to everyone
3D tech has the potential to make fashion accessible for anyone by democratizing customization and personalization. Fashion tech company e-NABLE is working to make 3D printed clothes available to people with disabilities, by creating affordable prosthetics for children living in developing countries.
The future of fashion
3D printing could eventually transform the way we think about clothing, entirely revolutionizing the industry as we know it. 3D printing is pushing designers to create new, innovative materials that are stronger, lighter, and more durable than ever before. The future of fashion lies in 3D tech.
In conclusion, 3D printing is changing the face of the fashion industry, and its potential is only just beginning to be realized. With its ability to create new materials, customized clothes, and reduce waste, 3D printing is poised to revolutionize the fashion world. So far, it has been used to create unique pieces that are both practical and beautiful. As technology advances, we can only imagine what else will be possible.