Who would have thought that there would be a day when you could watch a Fashion Show featuring clothes designed using CAD software and printed in 3D on machines? Well the day is here and on May 22nd at Rapid 2012 there will be a 3D printed fashion show featuring clothing, jewelry, purses and accessories designed in CAD programs and 3D printed.
To be completely honest, most of artistic pieces printed in 3D that we constantly see are odd and uncomfortable looking chairs and strange clothes that look miserable to wear. However, lately we have seen some improvements in the designs that are looking more and more like clothes, shoes, and accessories that we would actually wear such as these endoskeleton wedges designed by Andreia Chaves. The wedges are handmade in Italy by a fusion of leather-making techniques and advanced 3D printing.
In fact, 2011 marked a huge advance in the way we envision 3D printing influencing the fashion world when TIME magazine added Iris van Herpen’s escapism dress to their list of 50 best inventions of the year. It quickly inspired numerous designers around the world and became an exclusive piece at the Industrial Revolution 2.0 at the Victoria & Albert Hall in London and then returned to Paris for the 2012 Spring/Summer Paris Fashion Week
We are continuously seeing 3D printing more and more in the fashion industry and it makes me wonder if 3D printing is already significantly transforming the world. It makes sense that 3D printing is being used more frequently in manufacturing to reduce cost, increase production speed and drive innovation, but does the fashion industry’s use of 3D printing signify the technology’s transition into mainstream America? Artists are known to push the envelope when creating new products and artists such as Andreia Chaves and Iris van Herpen have set the bar very high. One thing that we notice when working with artists is that they care less about spec sheets and more about the possibilities. Spec sheets for the different additive technologies are a baseline and we know this baseline can be pushed (we have seen this many times). This technology allows fashion designers and artists to try new things and not have to spend weeks or months making changes to get it to work. Print it and if it fails, change it and print it again
Through upcoming events in the fashion industry it seems that the next generation of 3D printing fashion designers are ready to claim their spot in history, are you?