Examples of 3D Printed Fashion

3D Printed Items that you can wear or that help your body are here.

Danit Peleg Fashion _Photo credit Daria Ratiner 12.

If it goes on or in your body, as in a hearing aid, I count it as apparel. So, first, a disclaimer – not everything on this list is “clothing” as we might traditionally think of a fashion item. 3D printed objects are certainly showing up in clothing circles, at fashion shows, and that includes dresses, coats, bikinis, shoes, hats, and jewelry, to name a few.

Here are some 3D printed objects you might or might not have expected:

1. Custom Insoles or orthotics, made by SOLS, are coming to give your foot or feet greater comfort, and less pain.

A three-dimensional map of each foot, in its ideal, corrected position defines the shape of the SOLS. This model is further customized for the specific shoe type, patient weight, activity level, and foot flexibility. SOLS will customize, by using a 3D model, your foot and arch, and then 3D print a shoe insole.

2. Custom, 3D Printed Earphones from Normal: If you visit the New York City storefront, you will think you have walked into an Apple store. The store is elegant and intensely (in the best way possible) customer-focused. When I visited, I was immediately greeted and asked if I would like something to drink (it was a hot day) and then a few more questions. You can see Stratasys 3D printers working away right there in the store. I wrote a detailed post about it here on 3DRV.com.

3. This is currently only a prototype machine, but I was intrigued by what Electroloom is trying to do.

4. Continuum – is an online store that has ready-to-wear pieces, as well as some concept products that may be more akin to art. They have 3D printed shoes, a bikini known as N12 (sold in their Shapeways store), and a dress app that is pretty cool.

I liked how they described 3D fashion on their website: “We believe that fashion should express how we live our digital lives and that products express the process and story of their creation. We consider that the most beautiful fashion would be created entirely by robots, in an autonomous choreography, without any human labor. That is our future forward Cinderella story and the prime motivation for our work in 3D printing.” 

If you are wondering about tech trends in fashion and what is called “wearables,” check out the Computational Fashion, an Eyebeam initiative, bringing together artists, fashion designers, scientists, and technologists to explore emerging ideas and develop new work at the intersection of fashion and technology.

5. This Eyebeam team is also responsible for the MindRider bike helmet, that you might someday “wear:” According to the site: “MindRider, the brain-reading bike helmet system, generates new kinds of health data and health sense-making at the individual and regional scale. Every MindRider helmet employs a distinctive combination of two head-based wearable technologies, the bike helmet and the EEG (electroencephalography) sensor, giving users new insight into their mental experiences as they ride.”

6. Lynne Bruning and I met when I first started writing for Forbes back in 2011. She runs the eTextile Lounge, a tutorial, and DIY video site. She is sewing with conductive thread, putting sensors in clothes, and Near Field Communications (NFC) tags into things. I wrote about her work combining e-textiles and conductive fabric and circuits: Wearable Computers with E-Textiles and Conductive Fabric. She is amazing.

So it is about four years ago that I started thinking about how people might eventually wear 3D printed clothing, complete with circuits printed into them. Lynne inspired that.

7. For the most robust, and large, collection of 3D printed clothing; you have to check out Danit Peleg. She is the latest designer, and in my view, the only designer to so fully explore the potential. Here’s why: She created the first 3D-printed fashion collection printed entirely using home printers, the Witbox and FilaFlex filament.

It took 9 months of research and development and more than 2000 hours to print, about 400 hours per outfit. You can see the full collection here in her gallery. This was done as part of her graduate collection for her Fashion Design degree at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel.