Additive manufacturing or 3D printing[l] is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes.  3D printing is also considered distinct from traditional machining techniques, which mostly rely on the removal of material by methods such as cutting or drilling (subtractive processes). London and Paris fashion weeks are months away but that hasn’t stopped a catwalk of a different kind hitting both capitals, with lothing exclusively made on 3D printers.Hats, headpieces, dresses, shoes and even accompanying bling are being paraded at the 3D Printshow, which began last weekend in London and resumes in Paris on Friday. The printers work by building tiny layers of materials such as plastic or metal, and in some cases even yarn, on top of each other. German designer Pia Hinze is part of this new generation of designers and used 3D printing for her graduate collection inspired by the baroque era. ‘l decided to work with this innovative technology and one of the looks I created was a ully 3D printed dress,’ she says.
3D printing gave me the possibility to create exactly what I wanted, a sculptural piece of art. ‘It gives you an idea of the future, of the endless possibilities. I am sure it will become cheaper and we will print whole pieces for pr?©t-?¤-porter fashion. We already have knitted fabrics coming from a 3D printer, so you could sew a whole outfit with it. ‘ Fearless Forms makes Jewellery and accessories using 3D printers – how do you like these glasses? (Picture: supplied) Natasha Fagg is an Australian designer for Alexander McQueen in London.
Her Arthropoda collection was influenced by the appearance of insects under a microscope. ‘3D printing allows me to digitally form design to the body,’ she says. ‘My graduate collection was a chance to explore the facility of this technology without the constraint of commercial viability.
‘ While it’s possible to create a full outfit through 3D printing, Fagg says it may differ slightly to What we conventionally consider clothing to consist of. She adds: ‘The technology is advancing at such a rapid pace, I’m sure it won’t be long until we see the production of cloth.Printing off items you Just purchased online using your desktop 3D printer shows the potential. I am fascinated by the notion of mass customisation and the impact that this could have on the high street. ‘ Others pioneering the process include Iris Van Herpen, Steven Ascensao, and Francis Bitonti, who created a dress for burlesque performer Dita Von Teese. Carrie Dickens also uses 3D printers to make Jewellery (Picture: supplied) It all seems great for outlandish dressers such as Lady Gaga but, as Hinze says, these catwalk creations are destined for the high street, too.Jewellery is already available on websites such as Etsy.
com for less than EIO. Meanwhile, Janne Kyttanen is taking the revolution a step further. His shoes can be downloaded for free and printed at home, with four wedge styles to choose from. ‘The consumer now also becomes a designer and manufacturer,’ says the Finnish designer. You’ll need a El ,650 Cubify CubeX printer but Kyttanen believes costs are coming down and, if your shoes go out of fashion, you can simply recycle them and make a new pair.
There are other savings besides a smaller carbon footprint.Nike and Adidas are among those already printing in 3D, which they say can reduce production times from six weeks to 48 hours. ‘It will still take some time to become affordable for everybody,’ says Hinze, ‘but we are on our way. Nike already prints some soles in 3D but they will soon scan your feet and print shoes that fit perfectly. This also works for fitting bras, trousers, shirts, Jeans – a perfect fit without endless shopping. ‘ There are downsides, of course. The fashion industry employs 4. 2million people worldwide and 816,000 people in Britain.
That number could be reduced if dressmakers aren’t needed and middlemen such as shop workers and delivery drivers are cut out. Then there’s the potential for counterfeit goods or people copying designs at home. The one thing that won’t change is you’ll still need plastic for all those shopping sprees. www. 3dprintshow. com 3D printing technology means if your shoes go out of fashion you can recycle them and make a new pair (Picture: supplied) 3D Printing – Is It A Force For Good In Fashion? Analysis by Metro’s Senior Fashion Writer Naomi Mdudu The issue of 3D printing is contentious for the fashion industry.
Although designers have been using the technology for years, its movement into the hands of consumers has prompted anxiety. Brands are already fghting what seems a never-ending battle to protect intellectual property and 3D printing is a new mechanism to compromise that. It also threatens traditional handmade artisanal work in the luxury sector, eliminates quality control and forces us to rethink what luxury means. If a piece can be created simply by typing a code into a machine, what differentiates the quality of piece by designer A from designer B?But, for all of the gloomy talk, 3D printing brings exciting opportunities.
For young designers, it’s a chance to see how customers respond to designs before committing to substantial orders. For all clothes-makers, the ability to produce in smaller numbers helps bypass huge minimum orders imposed by factories. It also benefits established brands.
We’ve seen how the likes of Nike have used it to offer unique customisations. New Balance offers individual running assessments to create a 3D printed plate to add to the soles of its trainers.It’s an added incentive for people to shop. On a more basic level, 3D printing solves the longstanding problem of sizing.
We’ve all bought Jeans that fit in one place but aren’t quite right in another, but by allowing customers to tailor-make styles from their favourite shops by entering their exact measurements, it eliminates the problem. As transient and fast-paced fashion can be, it is also notoriously slow to change established practices but we’re only Just beginning to see the ways 3D printing can support the fashion industry rather than work against it.