Israeli designer Danit Peleg can be defined a pioneer of 3D printed fashion. In 2015, she was the first designer in the world to create an entire collection using home 3D printers. With her team, she works tirelessly, both to improve the quality of the materials available, making sure they resemble existing high-quality fabrics, such as silk and linen, and by collaborating with 3D printer companies to make the creative process as smooth as possible. Unlike traditional manufacturing, the 3D printing process produces zero waste and no material scraps. Danit mainly uses Filaflex, one of the most elastic materials on the market today. It is very strong but also soft to the touch and allows, when combined with other flexible fabrics, to obtain a fluidity and a pleasant sensation in contact with the skin. As an example, each single “Imagine” jacket takes about 100 hours to print and is part of a limited edition of only 100 pieces, each numbered and sold for $1,500. The outside of the jacket is 100% 3D printed and is attached to a fabric lining. It is also possible to choose a word to be 3D printed on the back. After creating the garment on the computer, the designer uses 3D modelling software so that each part adapts to the print size, with the possibility of choosing a specific size for each single piece so that it really does fit perfectly.
The “UNboxing” project by the young Yarden Tzarfati is also based on the zero waste principle, outlining a technique for interlocking 3D printed (and recyclable) pieces inspired by Japanese culture and the ubiquitous packaging boxes. Her creations include fascinating clothes – futuristic and romantic at the same time – and recently a line of eyewear. Favourite materials: PETG, Nylon PA12, aluminium and cotton.
As for accessories, the bags by Julia Daviy are presented as the first “zero emission” bags. They have 92% less CO2 emissions than traditional bags and the rest is offset by planting trees after each purchase. Julia Daviy’s sustainable 3D printing process also includes a complex approach using large-format 3D printers, the creation of a whole piece or just several parts, the use of recycled material as well as research into a new generation of biologically produced materials. In addition, together with New Age Lab’s partners, the designer has already attempted to use solar energy for 3D printing, developing a portable photovoltaic station that makes it possible to create fashion garments wherever you are, even in the mountains or on the beach.
IThe jewellery by Zivia Shadiel are inspired by the principle of the fractal (as a repetitive shape), interpreted as a translation of the natural world into ordered mathematics, which allows the infinite creation of unique shapes. The jewellery is made of nylon and 3D printed, and the shapes and volumes are custom-designed in dialogue with the various organs of the body: the fingers, bridge of the nose, back of the ear, foot and arm. The items, designed through mathematical calculations and therefore without material waste, connect to the body structure embodying the desire for human integration into nature.
Slightly off-topic but equally evocative is the “Pixel Shoe” by Israeli designer Tidhar Zagagi who has reinvented himself as a 3D cobbler in a more up-to-date version of the early 20th century mobile ‘one-man shoe factory’. This is both an interactive project and a social experiment, as passersby sit on a cart and rest their feet on a shape that creates an irregular profile of the foot. They can then define the shape of the sole together with the designer, choosing colour, fit, aesthetics. At that point, Tidhar Zagagi creates the sole in brightly coloured polyurethane, which hardens and fuses to the wearer’s socks to give it the perfect shape of the feet. “Pixel Shoe” is a sustainable project, highlighting the possibilities of the fashion industry to create products with minimal environmental impact. A factory or production cycle is not needed to make original trainers, all that is needed is a vivid imagination and, in this case, some polyurethane and the socks of passersby.
What all these 3D projects have in common is that they show a fascinating and customised process, which could radically change both the creative and buying approach in the future: what if one day the role of designers will be only to make millions of different garments and upload them on their websites as files to download? Or what if we all had the possibility to become our own designers, creating and downloading a pattern of a dress or accessory and printing it at home?