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The Future of Fashion in 3D Technology

From prosthetic limbs to cosmonaut suits, the scope of 3D printing is limitless – a literal example of “you think it, you got it.” In the fashion world too, where art imitates life, 3D printing has come to the forefront with couture houses looking for a futuristic edge to their products.

But it isn’t just aesthetic that clothing and jewellery designers benefit from when using 3D technology. The ability to manipulate materials and play around with compositions to create entirely unique outcomes has the fashion industry in a tizzy, looking to innovate and blend technology with trends.  

Here are the major changes that 3D technology will bring to the world of fashion in the near future.

Intricate Architectural Brilliance

3D Printed Fashion
Credit: studiolive

Complex design ideas that would previously take months to manufacture can now be programmed and printed in a fraction of the time. Literally breaking away from mold, now a garment featuring thousands of interconnecting pieces can be designed on a computer, linked together and produced by a 3D printer, resulting in a fascinatingly intricate and beautifully elaborate product. These designs, however, rarely make it beyond runway shows and exhibitions as the technology has still not advanced far enough to make high production viable. Often, to make a single garment takes hundreds of hours in production, as layer upon layer is carefully printed.

A New Approach To Embellishments

Buttons, rings, buckles, and other elements can all be made using 3D printing, leading to highly creative fabric embellishments that don’t require molds or complicated manufacturing processes in order to come into existence. This gives fashion designers and students leeway to add innovative touches, by way of design and materials used, to their creations.

3D Printed Octopus

Complete Customization In Jewellery

3D printing may still be an up-and-coming trend in the clothing fashion industry, but it is more accessible in the jewelry world as the materials currently used are generally more suited to trinket designs than clothing. You can purchase readymade as well as customised 3D printed jewellery easily. There are many websites such as I.materialise.com, Shapeways.com, and 3dprint.com where you can turn your designs into reality. And 3D jewellery isn’t limited to just plastic. There are a range of metals (gold and silver included) as well as polyamide and other materials that can be crafted through 3D printing.  

3D Printed Necklace
Credit: jewellerista.com

Eventual Decrease In Costs

The traditional process of molding can be quite expensive, especially for bespoke fashion items. Molds can cost thousands of dollars and a mistake in sizing renders it unusable, which would lead a designer to start from scratch bearing the financial loss. Molds also place a limit on the intricacy of a creation. For example, thin, delicate structures risk breakage when removed from moulds, which needs to be taken into consideration and avoided when designing. With 3D printing technology, however, there is no needs to create expensive molds. Elaborate patterns and designs can be produced one layer at a time without risk of damage while handling.    

3D Printed Shoes
Credit: purible

Molded to fit

Sneakers are all the rage in the fashion industry with big brands pumping out new designs faster than you can say “high tops.” 3D printing is already used by well-known sports brands such as New Balance, Adidas, and Nike. Adidas Futurecraft allows customers to customize the soles of their shoe according to their foots natural curves. Though still in its initial stages, the very idea so such personalized customization is a sign of a new era in the fashion world.  

3D Printed Sneakers

3D printing is the future of fashion. Technology has already found its way into our closets and trends with wearable tech such as smartwatches. It’s but obvious that 3D printing will be the next big thing in the fashion industry. It’s advantages are numerous, allowing designers to make complex and intricate art, fueling creativity and craftsmanship, and taking innovation to the next level.

 

 

Guest Author: Surbhi Kanur

I’m Surbhi, a writer based in Hyderabad, India, with interests and writing experience spanning across industries. Writing, for me, is a stress-buster and means to express myself. Over the past decade, I have written for established publications such as ElephantJournal, yoganonymous, and BeautyandgroomingTips. Although I write on a variety of subjects, fashion writing is one of my favorites and, since graduating from university, I have explored and directed my efforts mainly towards this genre. Being a fashion enthusiast, I just love discovering new brands and designers, and keeping up with the latest trends.

 

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