3D Printed Clothes — Innovation in the Fashion Industry

Have you ever thought about printing your custom-made clothes for your child over breakfast? Well, soon you can. 3D Printing has become the buzzword of the day. It has made a great impact in almost every facet and the fashion industry has now joined the bandwagon. Fashion Designers have gravitated towards 3D printers, understanding the myriad of benefits it offers. 3D printers are used to create innumerable shapes and exciting geometries that people have never ventured into before. This process not only makes the work exciting but also paves way for sustainability. Three-dimensional printing has revolutionized the world of fashion. Although the idea of 3D printing sounds simple, reality proves otherwise. The concept which has enormous potential is still in its infancy and is not easily accessible to everyone.

How 3D Printers are Used

Presently, 3D printed clothing is customarily for high-end fashion designers or art pieces. Designers who are highly motivated to create fun, unique designs find this process fascinating. The designs however are very appealing but cannot be worn regularly.

As far as fashion is concerned, 3D printers are used in bringing to life funky accessories, prototypes, and other manufacturing tools.

3D Printed Fashion Accessories

3D printers contribute to a lot more than just printing clothes. They are used excessively in adding vibrant embellishments, buttons, and various other accessories.which can get assembled in the garment in a very rapid manner. Designers also take advantage of 3D printing machines to create highly complicated costume jewelry patterns in unique, intricate geometrical shapes.

Prototyping Shoes

A large number of renowned footwear manufacturers have taken advantage of 3D printers to create prototypes that otherwise cost them an arm and a leg to outsource. One of the biggest advantages of the 3D printer is that it gives enormous freedom for the designers to take risks because they can measure the feasibility of their designs. Not just that, they also have the outright freedom and time to come up with new sensational designs.

Is it Affordable?

One of the biggest drawbacks of 3D printing is the time consumption- a simple piece of clothing takes an exceedingly long time to pass the printing and assembly phase. Because of the time-consuming process, the products are often priced very high, this turns out to be off-putting for many customers. 3D printing has made its mark in the movie industry. “The Black Panther” team have collaborated with renowned fashion designers to create intricate patterns for movie starrers’ unique costumes which are possible only with the use of 3D printers. The costs are highly likely to come down in the next couple of years.

The Dark Side of 3D Printed Clothing

Hundreds of decades of fine-tuning have paved the way for traditional sewing and weaving to come up with comfortable, wearable clothing. How likely is an upstart method like 3D printing that seems nearly close to workable? 3D printing surprisingly comes with its dark side. For starters, clothing designed for runway models was found to be extremely uncomfortable. Secondly, the materials used for 3D printing were found to be very inflexible when compared to the fabrics we use for apparel. Unfortunately, unlike traditional sewing, 3D printing has not yet had the advantage of the same level of fine-tuning and refinement. However, other facets of apparel, such as accessories and athletic wear have taken 3D printing to greater heights.

Zero-waste Wearables

Gone are those days when customers simply walked into a neighbourhood store and bought what they liked. Customers these days are constantly in flux with the unlimited choices they are presented with. This is mainly due to the fast-changing trends of fashion, which are dictated by global trends of influencers, celebrities, and world leaders. It is widely noticed especially among the millennials and generation Z that the buying patterns of customers have taken a drastic shift from non-bio-degradable to eco-friendly products. Textiles contribute to an enormous amount of waste and so a lot of thought has to be put into making the process environmentally friendly. Taking up 3D printing can help eliminate waste as we will be using only the required amount of material that is needed for manufacturing.

Existing 3D Printed Fashion Products

3D printed clothes are extremely impressive and aesthetically appealing. One such example is “Multicolor 3D printing”. This apparel is printed with vibrant multi-material involving intricate designs and patterns. 3D printing has stretched its tentacles all the way to the footwear industry. Renowned companies such as Adidas, have taken advantage of this process to come up with striking designs and projects in sports footwear. Alongside apparel and footwear, 3D printing has also made its presence in the jewelry industry. 3D printing is tailor-made for accessories. The nervous system collection features labyrinth-like designs that are impossible for a human to recreate.

Will 4D Printing become a Reality Someday?

A 4D printer will make use of specially designed materials that can alter its shape. This means intricate, 3D printed fashion designs can be taken one step ahead and made to change their appearance based on predefined triggers like water, light, heat, or other even simple energy contact. With 4D printing, designers could make clothing change colour or take on an entirely new pattern. Conversely, this method could be used to modify the length of a dress or the neckline of a top. Apart from style needs, 4D-printed clothing can also be self-programmable enough to safeguard against extreme weather. In order to see 4D printing come to life on a commercial scale, we need to continue to enhance and popularize current methods of 3D printing

Thought leader, Consultant, Observer , Realtor, Pilot , Banker, Educationist, Reader & Entrepreneur.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store