Pioneers in 3D-printed fashion are showing off the capabilities of rapid-prototyping technology with dresses, hats, shoes, swimwear and jewelry. Machines layer buildable materials like nylon or steel according to computer-generated blueprints, eliminating the need for fabric and conventional soles and fasteners. The results are delicate and architectural, but surprisingly strong. Designs are custom-printed to the wearer’s exact dimensions for a perfect fit.
N12 Bikini by Continuum Fashion
While 3D-printed fashions have been showing up on runways for a few years now, the N12 bikini was among the first to actually be available for purchase. Every single piece of this bikini is 3D-printed including closures, and snap together without any sewing. Order through the Continuum Fashion shop.
Exoskeleton 3D Printed Shoes by Janina Alleyne
The Exoskeleton collection by Janina Alleyne is a futuristic, vaguely alien-looking series of footwear inspired by the structure and silhouettes of marine invertebrates and insects. With 3D printing, shoes and garments can be printed to the exact size of the wearer, making uncomfortable-looking designs fit like a glove.
Parasol Hat by Heidi Lee
Artist and milliner Heidi Lee created this parasol-inspired cocktail hat, modeled by Andrej Pejic for WILD Magazine’s Woman issue.
Invisible Shoe by Andreia Chaves
Created in collaboration with rapid prototyping studio Freedom of Creation, fashion designer Andreia Chaves’ Invisible Shoe features a 3D-printed base that is then covered in a mirrored shell. This produces an optical illusion effect, making the wearer’s feet seem to blend in with their surroundings.
Jointed Jewels by Alissia Melka-Teichroew
A ‘selective laser sintering process’ enables jeweler Alissia Melka-Teichroew to create a range of unusual jewelry from plastic powder, which is fused into solid form using a computer-controlled laser.
Seed of Life Corset by ThreeForm
This piece of wearable sculpture features a segmented design with movable joints and hinges, and it’s made to fit your body perfectly. The Seed of Life Corset from ThreeForm is available at Shapeways for $2,500.
Escapism Dresses by Daniel Widrig, Iris van Herpen and .MGX by Materialise
This incredibly complex series of dresses from Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen was produced in collaboration with London architect Daniel Widrig and digital manufacturers .MGX by Materialise. The digitally-printed dresses are lightweight and flexible, amazingly detailed and yet easy to produce.
Biomimicry Shoe by Marieka Ratsma and Kostika Spaho
Look closely at the heel of the biomimicry shoe by Dutch fashioned designer Marieka Ratsma and American architect Kostika Spaho. It’s modeled on a bird skull. The hollow structure of the skull creates a high platform sole that is nevertheless lightweight, using less material than a solid structure.