At fashion shows across the world, high fashion couture has proved itself an innovator and early adapter, with the introduction of clothing printed via 3D printer. Featured at the right is an exquisite dress by Iris van Herpen. While a recent trend, each year articles pose many questions about whether 3D printing will produce sustainable textiles to make current materials obsolete. Is it time to throw out the sewing machine, and depend on the computer? Will today’s programmers be tomorrow’s fashion designers? To the latter, I certainly hope not.
3D Printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the process of making three dimensional objects from a digital model. The object, even if complex, is created through successive layering of material, and is easily replicable once it has been successfully printed. In the future, as the technology steadily progresses and prices fall, clothes, shoes, and jewelry may be downloaded and printed. Clothing could custom fit, printed in stores which only require a 3D body scan.
Makerbot recently announced it’s new Digitilizer Desktop 3D Scanner, which allows objects to be copied and printed; 3D printers will make their way into the homes of people everywhere. Perhaps it will be a while before the average American dons clothes that have been printed, but it wasn’t that long ago Americans were consuming paper clothing (I believe mid-1900s). Is this all that different? No matter what, the advent of 3D printers signals many changes for fashion, as well as for multiple other industries. Fashion is but one area that would be affected by 3D printing.Read More