Some of the hottest fashion may soon be created using 3D printers. In the last few years, more and more designers have been playing with the idea of using 3D printing in their creations. Unlike other production forms, 3D printing uses only as much material as is absolutely necessary, without producing the same kind of waste. 3D printing also has the ability to create structured clothing that plays with negative space in ways that would be far more difficult and time-consuming to reproduce through other methods of manufacturing.
Some adventurous designers are playing with 3D printing for their creations, including Catherine Wales, who embarked upon Project DNA. The idea behind Project DNA was to create custom clothing that diverged from size labels. Each of the pieces can be fitted to the body type of the individual, allowing for greater customization and individuality than the standard numbered sizing.
Wales isn’t the only one experimenting with 3D printed fashion. San Francisco-based company Continuum has produced a 3D printed bathing suit, and retailers New Balance have created running shoes on 3D printers custom designed to help athletes perform better.
There are some concerns that 3D printing will do to fashion what Napster did to music, or what Amazon did to books. At the moment though, the majority of designers making working in 3D printing is small and specific. The technology is still expensive enough to call for pretty complex designs with pretty high price tags. It seems that, for now at least, the world’s seamstresses are safe.