Good news for all of us who never have anything to wear—3-D printing. Don’t see anything you like in your closet? Print out some knock-out outfits and you will be the envy of all your friends. Sound far-fetched? Actually, this is the reality we’re now living in, and it’s becoming more so each day. Famous designers have been utilizing industrial 3-D printers to make the most amazing clothing, and now a young fashion designer has succeeded in producing a unique clothing line utilizing a home 3-D printer. Even shoes came out of the 3-D printer. And these are really cool clothes. Plus, when they are dirty, you can throw them into the dishwasher. Amazing!
Danit Peleg, a student at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design decided to use 3-D printing technology to design the clothes for her final school project. The teachers were skeptical and Danit had to quickly learn many new technologies, but in the end, after more than 2,000 hours of work, and lots of collaboration with 3-D printing gurus, she was able to outfit five models with wearable, high-fashion outfits, including red, stiletto-heeled shoes. The most challenging part, Danit says, was the material—to be wearable, a dress has to be comfortable. After much research, she found a flexible and durable fabric produced in Spain which worked perfectly for her 3-D clothing line. The material is a bit rubbery though, making it perfect for the dishwasher.
3-D printing is the process of using a digital file to produce a 3-dimensional solid object. The technology has taken the world by storm, producing everything from jewelry to prosthetics. Now it has captured the fashion design industry. New Balance, Nike and Adidas are already making 3-D printed shoes. Some of the top designers are pushing the envelope with 3-D printer-created designer clothes. In the future, it is anticipated that anyone will be able to produce their own 3-D printed clothing. Of course, this possible eventuality does raise some interesting legal questions. For instance, if you download the design pattern from a company website, alter it so that it fits you and then produce the item with your 3-D printer, is the design yours or does it belong to the company from where you downloaded the original design? What if you don’t change the pattern to fit you, but use a different color or print for the fabric? Is this an unlawful duplication? There are other issues too, but we can let the lawyers sort all of them out. In the meantime, the good news is that with 3-D printers, you will always have something to wear.