We’re of the opinion that 3D-printed fashion just cannot get here fast enough—and we’re not alone. The technology has been rapidly expanding, and while traditionally the fashion industry can be slow to come around to new tech, a few eccentric designers have been slowly introducing these printed pieces into both conceptual and ready-to-wear collections. But one fashion student decided to bring this technology to the forefront of her designs when she created her entire graduate collection using 3D printers at home.
Tel-Aviv-based designer, Danit Peleg, created a five-piece collection entirely out of 3D home printers—the first of its kind. As a recent graduate from Shenkar College of Design, the line was part of her senior collection, and she knew nothing about the technology when she began the project. But after partnering with local experts she was able to figure out which machines, materials and software would work best for her purpose. She needed to transfer each design from fashion software to graphic design software and test multiple fibers to see what would work for her collection. She finally decided upon FillaFlex filament to construct her pieces, it’s strong, but much more flexible than traditional 3D printed materials.
After a series of tests and trial runs, her collection took nine months and over 2,000 hours to complete—and that’s with several at-home 3D printers running 24/7. Some pieces were done faster as their patterns were more simplistic, but some of her more detailed pieces, like those that simulated lace, took even longer. On average every A4-sized sheet of textile took 20 hours to print. And when her pieces were chosen for her school’s graduate show, she went back to the printers to begin creating a line of 3D-printed shoes. “When I was getting ready for the runway, I printed shoes for the models,” Peleg explained in her blog. “I wanted the models to wear 100 percent 3D-printed materials—including the shoes.”
This collection, despite being a small student line, could have a larger impact on 3D printing in fashion in the future—and Peleg wants to be a part of that conversation. “I really enjoyed the fact that I could create without intermediaries; I could design my own textiles and manufacture my own clothes, all from my own home,” she said. “I didn't have to go buy cloth that someone else chose to sell—I could make my own.” She’s definitely not alone as multiple designers, including Iris Van Herpen and Francis Bitonti, are making waves with their own 3D-printed pieces. Peleg sees the future of fashion as 3D printing—selling files and patterns online to download and create anywhere at any time. “I think this is just the beginning,” she adds. “As technologies evolve, we will soon be all printing our own clothes at home.”