How Will Fashion be with 3D-Printing?

Fashion is always evolving, and the fashion industry is set to transform even more, with the aid of 3D-printing technology. Here are some developments.

3D-printed fashion

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[...] one young Canberran is trying to shake up fashion conventions by taking her digital dreams to the 2017 Vancouver Fashion Week. Charne Esterhuizen has made an entire dress using 3D printers and hopes to make the industry more sustainable for future generations. - Read more at:

For futurist Ray Kurzweil, 3D-printed fashion is the way to go. The New York Times reported last year on this prediction:

While advances have been made in recent years in the 3-D production of nonpliable products, namely sneakers and sunglasses, the printing of fabric-based items remains in its infancy because of the stiff, synthetic quality of the raw materials that the current printers must use. In as soon as a decade, Mr. Kurzweil said, this will start to change.

As the variety of materials available to print in 3-D become more extensive and less expensive, both free open-source and proprietary clothing designs will be widely available online in as little as 10 years,” Mr. Kurzweil said to his audience, predominantly made up of fashion and luxury executives. - Read more at:

3D-printing clothes at home will become as common as the sewing machine.

Currently (as evidenced by the fact that these dresses are in a museum display), 3D-printed clothes are pretty much the exclusive purview of haute couture. But as the technology is adopted by more apparel makers, it has the potential to trickle down to the masses. When that happens, “it can be as revolutionary as the sewing machine,” said Andrew Bolton, Manus x Machina’s curator. “It means you can 3D print your dress to your exact measurements at home.” – Read more at:

 However, it may take a while before 3D-printed dresses will click with ordinary consumers.

One major problem has been with the materials. The synthetic materials that are commercially available at present for 3-D printing, such as polylactic acid, are not comfortable or flexible enough for clothing. […] But one study in 2014 concluded there was still much needing considered when it came to modelling and design software and design procedures; and that 3-D garments may need to undergo finishing processes to improve their aesthetics. – Read more at:

Another major concern with 3D printing is the vast amount of energy it takes to keep plastic heated and malleable at high temperatures. It is noted however, that by using other materials like wood composite, power usage can be drastically decreased potentially making this type of printing “greener than any other type of manufacturing.” It all comes back to the material. – Read more at:

Even then, with continuous research and innovation, time will most likely come when 3D-printed clothes will not only be for fashion shows, but can be mass produced or printed right in the home.

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