Downloaded 3D-Printed Clothes, the Future of Fashion?

Downloaded 3D-Printed Clothes, the Future of Fashion?

Twenty years ago, if you wanted to listen to music you had to go to a record store and purchase a CD then play it in a Discman or CD player. Today, you can download music using an app directly onto your smartphone, tablet or home computer, never having to leave the comfort of your living room.

Fashion designer, Danit Peleg believes downloaded, printable clothing may be coming to a closet near you.

3D printing has been around for several decades and while some fashion designers have brought designs to the catwalk, no one before Peleg 3D-printed an entire fashion collection at home. The 27-year-old used only small consumer 3D printers to create her graduate collection from fashion design school. From red high-heels, to a long striped skirt all the garments have been printed in small sizes and glued together.

While the process was extremely time consuming, one piece took up to 300 hours to print, Peleg believes this could be the future of fashion, “Let’s remember the Internet was significantly slower 20 years ago, so 3D printing will also accelerate and in no time you’ll be able to print a T-Shirt in your home in just a couple of hours, or even minutes,” Peteg told an audience at a recent Tedtalk.

Peleg said the main challenge was finding the filament — the material you feed the printer with — for printing the clothes. Her breakthrough came when she discovered Filaflex, a strong and flexible filament that made the designs more wearable.

Peleg believes in the future materials will evolve and they will look and feel more like fabrics we know today, like cotton or silk creating personalized clothes that fit exactly to our measurements.

However, the future market of 3D printers seems uncertain. According to an Oct. 27 report published by Gartner, customer spending on 3D printers will hit $13.4 billion by 2018; a report published on the same day by analysts at CCS Insight suggested the market to be less valuable, growing to $4.8 billion by 2018. Different factors such as high costs of printing materials and intellectual property issues are holding the industry behind.

To find out more on about the process behind Pelegs’ 3D printed line watch this video.