3D Printing is now on the cat walk

fashion 3d printing printer

At Printernet we offer a range of different printers including Wi-Fi enabled 3D machines which are Mac and Windows compatible. A number of our 3D printers also come complete with free 3D files to get you started printing on your device. You are also able to print in a range of vibrant colours with our special 3D inks.

However, did you know that  3D printing is slowly entering the world of fashion? 3D printing and computer tools are changing the way Fashion Designers approach not just design but the materials and textile manufacture.

3d printing printer

Image credit: http://airwolf3d.com/3d-printer-product

Who’s doing it?

Francis Bitonti collaborated with costume designer Michael Schmidt to create a Swarovski crystal 3D printed gown worn by Dita von Teese. Francis quotes: “The future of fashion is code, not couture.” 

fashion 3D printing dita von teese

image credit: harpersbazaare.com

Fashion Designer Iris van Herpen’s creation of a skeleton dress and the angel wings worn by model Cara Delevingne at the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show demonstrate complex structures that can be achieved with this new wave of technology. 

skeleton 3d printing fashion cat walk

 image credit: additivefashion.com

Iris quotes: “I find the process of 3D printing fascinating because I believe it will only be a matter of time before we see the clothing we wear today produced by this technology. Because it’s such a different way of manufacturing, adding layer-by-layer, it will be a great source of inspiration.”

3D printing is also being used for jewellery, shoes and handbags amongst couture dresses and accessories.  Zoe Jia-Yu Dai is a Taiwanese Fashion Designer who took on the challenge to create a line of 3D printed shoes for her Master’s degree at the London College of Fashion.

shoes taiwan 3d printing

image credit: 3dprintingindustry.com

Zoe quotes: “I was interested in combining concepts from organic, natural structures and modern technology…I pushed the physical limits of design materials, and created designs that would be impractical or even impossible to produce with traditional manufacturing methods.”

What’s the secret?

This growth in 3D printing and printers is giving way to a technology the experts are calling ‘Smart Materials’ or ‘E-Textiles’. These new textiles are leading the way for wearable technologies within the fashion, medical and fitness industries because manufacturers are able to embed hidden technologies to work independently from the wearer. Previously, ordinary fabrics would have to be woven with wires and battery packs to achieve any power or computer processing.

Smart and E-Textiles come in two categories: aesthetic and performance-enhancing. Aesthetic E-Textiles are able to light up or change colour creating a purely visual effect; whereas performance-enhancing textiles will be able to monitor human performance in industries such as health and fitness or the military as they can regulate heart rate and monitor muscle use. 

dress smart textile 3d printer

image credit: dezeen.com

What’s the future?

E-Textiles are becoming widely used commercially, taking over the use of household fabrics, bandages and bed linen with experts predicting they will eventually be able to emit light, show images, change shape or harvest energy to create electricity…maybe even diagnose and treat medical conditions!

Engineers and Designers have been using very  large and expensive 3D printers for nearly three decades, making machine parts for aerospace, defense and automotive companies. It is only recently that 3D printers are available at a range of affordable prices for the home user; digital design software has also become widely used and accepted along with scanners and our desktop printers.

We are now at the stage where home printing could free us from the repetitive and pervasive manufacturing companies and budding artists, entrepreneurs and schools are able to realise their ideas and dreams at the click of a button! It is a very exciting time for technology. 

Three cheers for 3D printing; Check out our affordable  range online and join the revolution!

3d printing printers


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