We haven’t rushed out to buy our own 3-D printer just yet. Sure, we have our ear on the pulse on how 3-D printing has changed the face of fashion, manufacturing textiles, and constructing otherworldly silhouettes.
Phase 1: 3-D Construction in CAD Software
Besides being the doyenne of tech buzz and fashion news, there are reasons why 3-D printing is so full on in our scope of future vision right now.
While still in its infancy, 3D printing, which works by printing out layer after thin layer of plastic to make highly specialized designs, can already create a litany of objects that are pretty impressive—the designs for which can often be found for free online.
We’re currently obsessed with Thingverse, an online database packed to the brim with free, user-created designs for 3D printers operated by the people behind the 3D printer manufacturer MakerBot.
Aside from all the awesome things you can make with 3-D printers, at ICB we’re really getting to the heart of how these magical little thrones of perception, or shall we say, dimension, are taking over the fashion world.
3-D Superstructures in the Making
Architects and scientists have been using 3-D printing to create models for decades, but it’s beginning to show even more potential. From 3D printed buildings to 3D printed hearing aids, this technology could be revolutionary for a variety of industries. Fashion is no exception, and designers have already started to experiment.
Companies such as Hot Pop Factory are printing jewelry. Retailers such as New Balance are printing shoes. Designers such as Ron Arab are printing sunglasses. These pioneering innovations are exciting, but what’s a 3D printed necklace without a shirt or dress to match? 3D printing and fashion just recently met a couple of years ago, but their friendship is off to a promising start.
Objects like bracelets and phone cases take around thirty minutes to print. Base prices for such machinery — not including printing materials — are comparable to a laptop, at around $1,300.00.
3-D Jewelry Designs
The idea of 3-D custom design has mass appeal and marketability. Who doesn’t want to wear a one-of-a-kind, perfectly tailored piece? Perhaps the ICB girl of the future won’t have to suffer the social agony of showing up to a work, happy hour, the club, etc. wearing the same dress as her archenemy….or even worse, by accident.
That’s right. The same technology that could build a city and create a hearing aid could also open the doorways to our fashion perceptions. And ICB that’s something we fully endorse!- Ana Roman