The earliest 3D printing technologies first became visible in the late 1980’s. Throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s a host of new technologies continued to be introduced. While some designers — like Francis Bitonti who feels that many of the machines on the market are little more than “tinker toys” — say that 3D printing has stagnated, innovations are continuously being made in various fields, including fashion.

Behnaz Farahi

What if your clothing could interact with an individual’s gaze?  Behnaz Farahi, an architect and interaction designer explores the potential of interactive environments and their relationship to the human body. In this 3D printed piece titled Caress of the Gaze, Farahi turned to 3D printing and motion sensing cameras to explore the concept.

She used an Objet Connex500 Printer, manufactured by Stratasys, because of its ability to fabricate prints in various states of flexibility and density, along with the ability to combine material properties into a single print. The motion camera is then implanted subtly within the 3D printed top, once it senses the intensity and information behind the incoming gaze, the Caress of the Gaze piece will mutate with a ripple effect that almost resembles a mating dance of some sort.

— 3D Printing Industry

Julia Koerner

Austrian architect and 3D fashion designer Julia Koerner utilizes computer modeling software from the architecture industry to create elaborate garments inspired by the natural patterns found in fungi and kelp, which formed the basis for her intricate designs.

“Currently I am focusing on integrating flexible material within fashion design,” said Körner. “I find the new material Polyjet Flex interesting as it inherits different densities and stiffness within the same material. Computationally you can control which areas of a surface should be more rigid and which areas should be more flexible.”

Nasim Sehat

3D Printed Eyewear by Nasim Sehat

Created by Iranian-born architect and designer Nasim Sehat, Biz Eyes is 3D printed eye wear with custom detachable rings that seek to offer “a fun and unique way to make a bold statement with everyday eye wear.” Using an innovative interlocking joint design, the project also wants to enable users to create their own custom rings simply by submitting the 3D models they have designed.

Michael Schmidt & Francis Bitonti

In 2013, designer Michael Schmidt and architect Francis Bitonti created a 3D-printed floor-length nylon gown for burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese. The gown featured nearly 3000 unique articulated joints and is adorned with over 12,000 Swarovski crystals.

“The rigid plastic components are fully articulated to create a netted structure that allows for movement. Spirals based on the Golden Ratio were applied to a computer rendering of Von Teese’s body so the garment fits her exactly.”

Cristina Franceschini

An Italian freelance designer, Cristina Franceschini‘s hometown of Fermo has a long tradition in shoe manufacturing. There, craftsmanship and expertise have been passed down from generation to generation. She represents a new generation of designers trying to combine long-standing tradition with innovative new technologies such as 3D printing.