If you ever were ever a 7 year-old in the early 2000s, you would probably be familiar with the American Animated series called “Chalkzone”. This children’s show follows the adventures Rudy Tabootie, a curiosity-driven 10 year-old with the luck of owning a magical chalk that takes him to an ~alternative universe ~ by the name of “Chalkzone”. His impulsive drawings literally come to life before his eyes. The comical aspects and the extent of imagination of this series are quite interesting to ponder upon on. Now this makes you think: Is there any way we could ever experience the thrill of drawing the weirdest, most candid expressions of our minds and turn into something tangible and dimensional? The answer might just surprise you.
3-D printing is one of the most significant inventions in science today. It holds a lot of potential in improving systems of production in many industries, especially to that of the trade in fashion. This instantaneous form of printing serves numerous benefits to fashion retailers and designers, especially to those who are involved in small-scale businesses. Designers will be able to make prototypes of their designs conveniently, without having to pay huge sums, suffer long lead times, and deal with minimum orders. This invention also addresses the field of sustainable fashion. Because fewer materials are wasted into making product samples using 3-D printing, less waste will be generated. This, in part, also deals with the discipline of resource management: as world population grows, there is an increasing demand for awareness in the materials we use to create clothes (and things in general).Conversely, 3-D printing serves bane to designers as artists who struggle in keeping legal right to their designs. With the advent of technology, people may soon be able to print clothing designs and call it their own, without the consent of the original creator. There is a running risk of the modification of original designs.
3-D Printing, in perspective, is a both a haunting yet a wonderful thing. But if it makes you feel something, Dhani Mau, writer to Fashionista.com says that “we're not close to wearing 3-D printed clothes yet.” Moreover, Beth Altringer (researcher at Harvard) says that “Until we can actually print in comfortable, breathable fabrics, it will remain a pretty far off concept. I think we have plenty of time to think about these things and how it would work before this is actually really a mainstream thing.” Despite the predictions that the accessibility of this printing form will not be available to the masses, there are existing designers who use this process not only to diversify their outlets of expression, but to also help in its advancement.
Designers like Iris Van Hepren (who is, truly, an exceptional visionary) among many other designers are creating a foothold in fashion 3-D printing. (his designs are shown below)