Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Become Fashion Ready 3D Printing Your Own Clothing

3D printing results in the creation of a solid object from a digital file. While most fashion results from the subtractive method of cutting the necessary components out of a piece of fabric, 3D clothing produces a complex shape using an additive process.

Harmonograph - threeASFOUR
Photo:  Matt Carsella

After becoming curious about 3D printing, Gabi Asfour began attempting to manipulate the internal geometry of textiles. He, Angela Donhauser, and Adi Gil had a vision to create “three-dimensional interlocking weaves,” which would be achieved with the help of laser cutting. Collaborating with 3D printing company Stratasys and architect Travis Fitch for the Fall 2016 Biomimicry collection, Pangolin was born. This dress was a result of 500 hours of printing using 10 printers at the same time. Pangolin’s scales of interlocking weave were developed using an algorithm which simulates cell division.

Pangolin - threeASFOUR

While still in its infancy, fashion has already begun making use of this process for the future of not only clothing but the accessories we wear with them. The newest invisible shoe provides a nude view of the foot within its geometric structural design.

Invisible Shoe
Photo:  Andreia Chaves Gallery

The first affordable design using 3D printing originating with Continuum Fashion in collaboration with Shapeways is the N12 or the world’s first 3D-printed bikini, created by designers Jenna Fizel and Mary Haung. The bikini is constructed of thousands of circular plates connected by thin springs to allow it to maintain its form while still being flexible. Working with the third dimension of the fabric led them to 3D printing.

N12 - 3D Printed Bikini 
Continuum Fashion and Shapeways
Photo:  Ariel Efron

Ruth E. Carter won an Oscar for Best Costume Design after working with printing wearable specialist, Julia Koerner  and Materialise to help with 3D printing to create the mantel and crown worn by Queen Ramonda. Queen Ramonda in Black Panther, was played by Julia Bassett.

Queen Ramonda
Photo:  via Marvel's Black Panther
Costume Design by Ruth Carter

While many of us have used traditional methods of sewing throughout the years to create our own personal fashion statements, Danit Peleg, as part of a graduate program at Shenkar, created a 5-piece fashion collection using flexible patterns and soft materials which were printed at home. Danit provides users with the ability to design their own 3D printed bomber jacket, made to measure with your own customization. This offer is a limited edition.

Photo:  Danit Peleg Collections
'Liberty Leading the People'

Is 3D printing in your future?
What would be the first item on your list to print?



  1. We actually have a 3D printer and have for years - my husband's into those kind of things. We both love to make. Anyway, I've had him print me a few bezels. They're fine. However, the plastic nature of the prints leaves me a little wanting. Though, I LOVE the lacy mantle from Black Panther...it makes the plastic look more fragile and more like a textile. And, it makes me think a little more about how to use the prints a little more creatively. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. I've seen them work in demos but not doing anything quite this elaborate. It would be fun discovering ways to use one. I did wonder how the clothing would feel against the skin or how heavy those dresses really were. You may now come up with some completely new ways to use your printer.

  3. I have seen where they have printed prostetic hands and that is awesome. Such great use of this innovative device!

    1. Mindy, that's amazing, and I'm sure that in no time at all, we will be seeing much more of this. When I was researching this article, I saw where prosthetic ears were being produced. Thank you for visiting!