3D Printed Clothing: The Future of Fashion?

In today’s blog post I will be discussing 3D printed clothing and fashion. 3D printing is a big topic right now, and I’m constantly seeing news on or related to it. It started off with printed simple models and objects, but now it’s printing fabrics and even food, yes food. Seeing all the news about it, I decided to look more into 3D printed fashion and learn more about it since in a few years we might all be wearing it.

How 3D Printing Works

3D printing is a process that is similar to normal printing, but instead of putting ink on 3D Printed Headpaper it prints out a material in layers, creating a 3D object. People create computer drawings and models, which is then sent to the printer. The printer then lays down think layers of material using a laser. The printer builds the layers based on the specs in the models and drawings creating the desired object.

Creating 3D Printed Clothing

Using the 3D printing process, you can design an outfit using the exact measurements of a person, then send it to print. No cutting, sewing, weaving, knitting or other traditional processes necessary. You can print out the exact dress or item of clothing to fit perfectly. This idea has prompted many to look for more flexible or fabric like materials to use when creating different articles of clothing. A 3D printed long sleeve shirt is no good if you can’t move you’re arms.

The Dita Von Teese Dress

The most famous example of 3D printed clothing that I’ve seen is the Dita Von Teese dress. The dress was created for her by designers Francis Bitonti and Michael Schmidt, and she wore it to a conference in New York City. It was made out of a black-nylon material and was also covered in Swarovski crystals. It was printed in 12 pieces that were then dyed the desired color and then super-glued together. The chain mail design made it more flexible, to make it easy to put on and take off, and has around 3,000 independently movable joints, again to help with flexibility so she could walk and sit. (Unfortunately I could not get a picture of the dress to show you)

Her dress is not the only 3D printed item, just the most well known. One company has created a 3D printed bikini, and I’ve also seen images of 3D printed shoes. And while some items are available to the average consumer, not just the super rich and celebrities, since they are super customized for you they will still cost a pretty penny. These fashions could potentially be our future. In the future we may even be able to print our own clothing at home!

Here are some resources to help you learn more about this amazing technology, and I’d love to hear what you think about it!

LiveScience – 3D Printing Weaves Its Way into Fashion

Huffington Post – Continuum’s 3-D Printed Clothing Offers A Glimpse Into The Future Of Fashion

3D Printing Idsustry – Fashion related posts

Start Up Fashion – Textile Spotlight: 3D Printed Fabric

Forbes – 3D Printing Hits The Fashion World

Until next time!