Already making their presence felt in a number of sectors such as health, food, construction, and cosmetics, 3D printers are truly revolutionizing the manufacturing process. If the sewing machine was the revolution of sewing, today we can see how this technology is bringing a radical change in the fashion industry too.
When the designer Iris Van Herpen showcased his stunning designs printed in 3D in Amsterdam Fashion Week some years back, everyone was left amazed.
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3D Printing Technology Trend in Fashion Industry
With these printers, designers give life to shapes and colours that sail in their minds. That is why 3D printing has crossed the conventional textile line, offering the opportunity to challenge the imagination. More and more fashion designers are deciding to work with 3D printers – an option that is still a small challenge as there are not many materials available and still need some evolution, but thanks to the latest technology offering results that go beyond the conventional.
Fashion designers who have launched the use of 3D technology to create their designs and materials have not only done so because of the facilities it offers but especially because it is a creative challenge and the process of creating fashion is very different and exciting compared to the conventional one. That is the reason why 3D printers are becoming an unstoppable trend in the world of fashion.
There are no limits to the imagination of the creator when 3D technology can get you those impossible finishes that you dream of. Not to mention other really competitive advantages such as the low cost of production, more sustainability, and being able to modify the patterns in situ as you are working.
The implementation of this technology is offering innovations that will optimize the textile production process. The University of Loughborough and the clothing manufacturer, Group Yeh have joined together to promote 3D fashion with the aim of cutting waste from the garment industry. 3D printed textiles are not a new concept, but their creation required multiple stages.
This project seeks to streamline the process, creating the technology that allows producing finished garments directly from raw materials (in this case, a polymer) in a single step. In the near future, anyone who wants to create a garment that can be worn directly after printing will only have to set the appropriate parameters and get the custom design in 24 hours.
Some famous designers who have incorporated 3D technology in their designs
Although 3D printers may not yet be part of our day-to-day life, gradually they are making a place for themselves in the fashion industry as well as all other sectors. We see a multitude of emerging and established designers who are opting to use 3D printing as a method to create their garments, setting a new paradigm in the world of fashion. Here, we name a few of them.
Israeli designer Noa Raviv
Among the most outstanding is the Israeli designer Noa Raviv, whose designs have been presented in the Manus x Machina and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Her work arose from the inspiration of some pieces that were digitally deformed, which led her to investigate the possibility of merging reality with the virtual.
Another of the great representatives of this innovative technique is Heidi Lee, an artist, and designer from New York known for her “Endless Echo Hat” an original hat with faces that have been the subject of numerous controversies. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Heidi has focused on the creation of hats and headdresses by means of 3D printing as a form of conceptual art rather than as a fashion accessory.
The Madrid-born Diego GÃ³mez-Carpintero intends to give life to his dreams through unique pieces created with 3D printing. This designer bases his work on customization, the possibilities provided by 3D printing and the DIY world. This digital artisan, as he defines himself, creates unique pieces that shape his universe, trying to achieve a unique finish in each piece despite the homogeneity that the technology provides.
3D printing in Fashion Accessories
It is quite clear how the fashion industry is adapting to the new technological era. As mentioned above, in recent years, several designers have experimented with 3D printing; however, it is not only limited to textile designing only. Designers like Diana Law are using it to design jewellery and bags too.
Diana is a Dutch living in Paris and she designs unique pieces using 3D technology that surprise the viewers when they learn that they have been done using a printer.
For the jeweller, one of the advantages of using 3D printers is the speed. Plastic parts take between 7 and 10 days to print while metal parts take 10 to 15 days. Other good things about printing this way are the cost reduction and the possibility of retouching the jewellery while it is being printed.
In addition, this technique is more sustainable since it works with the exact amount of material needed to create a piece. In this way, elements do not have to be discarded and production is more efficient.
All in all, 3D technology is slowly making its place in the fashion industry and as the technology becomes more affordable, it may well be on its way to claiming a strong market share in the fashion world in the coming years.
Image source: NoaRaviv.com