3D-printing has been around for a while, but designers such as Danit Peleg and Julia Daviy are now using it to design their collections. Peleg was one of the first designers to produce a full collection of 3D-printed garments in 2015 and has since produced customisable pieces for purchase online.
During the development and creation of 3D garments the main obstacle to overcome is the filament used to create 3D fabrics. Typically, filaments in 3D printing are rigid plastics such as polylactic acid (PLA), which can be very limiting in terms of recreating a wearable and mobile fabric. However, Peleg utilises the flexible and wearable Filaflex filament to produce garments that resemble lace.
A polyurethane-based thermoplastic elastomer, Filaflex is elastic and durable. By combining this with computer-aided design (CAD), intricate patterns and shapes can be created. 3D printing is still in its infancy when it comes to speed though. Printing a jacket or dress can take hundreds of hours on a domestic-grade 3D printer.
Yet this hasn’t deterred Julia Daviy, who uses a different method to produce her garments: stereolithography (SLA) printing. Rather than using a Fused Filament Fabrication (FDM) 3D printer, SLA designs use a UV laser beam to harden a resin layer by layer.
The creation rises slowly from the resin, rather than being printed by plastic sections being layered on top of each other. Both Peleg and Daviy’s creations are just some of the many designs that 3D printing is now making possible.
The hope is that someday soon customers will be able to download their clothing designs and at the click of a button print them at home.