Will 3D Printing Take Over The Fashion Industry?


Recently fashion industry experts and enthusiasts have caught wind of the new idea that is being taken into consideration. What if we were able to simply sketch out, design, and print our entire wardrobe in the comforts of our own home?  Many supporters are actually ecstatic about the idea. The endless possibilities of being creative, eclectic, and different from everyone else would be amazing. No longer would anyone stress over the ideology of looking exactly like someone else. While it is still be possible for two individuals to have the same thought process, those are better odds than duplicates found in clothing stores at the mall.


While 3D printing is not completely new to fashion, none of the past work can be compared to the hopes that we are seeing now. Over the years technology has advanced so drastically that machines are capable of being self-sufficient with meticulous detail work. Fashion designers never believe that they are too above working with their hands, thread, and needles. However, there is nothing wrong with a few extra hands if possible. Machines that are currently used (and being tested) for 3D fashion possess the capabilities of threading intricate, geometric, and/or unconventional patterns in the same manner human hands can.

Price (and possible fashion suicide)

Without any official 3D clothing apparel available for the general public (at the moment) price tags are only speculated assumptions. Figures are being thrown around that the materials for creating these articles of clothing could cost between $50-$80 (47€ -75€ euros). In addition to that, printers that are used cost around $1,800 (1,700€). Based on those estimations alone, if it does come into fruition, then there are two possibilities that could occur.

1) 3D clothing will be considered “high couture” allowing the exclusivity to stay close knit.

2)Someone will figure out a way to make materials a little bit cheaper so the general public could invest in for themselves.

Material Durability

Not much has been stated in regards to the durability of the material(s) used for fabrication. As of now, designers have used elastic filament 3D to produce examples. However, that material is not known for being durable during cold weather. It is also a major concern from future potential consumers on how to properly keep these 3D clothes clean.

Production Time Necessary

The most important question that is being addressed is the amount of production time required. For a women’s two-piece (sleeveless and skirt) outfit can take around 200 hours to create. That means it could take 8.5 – 9 days (of time) to produce one complete ensemble, which is fair to assume high price tags.

Overall the idea of having a full wardrobe of 3D printed clothes does sound pretty amazing. Just like with any new idea and/or product, it is going to take a time-period of beta testing, failures, and successful moments. With the right creative minds at the forefront of the new revolution, this idea will eventually become a reality sooner than we think.

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