Computational fashion; 3D printed clothes are becoming part of the fashion world

 It might look like your typical fashion show but there's a catch. The designers are not Oscar de la Renta or Versace, they are Makerbot and Adobe. And the items on the runway? They were 3D printed.

3D printing is a technology that allows you to digitally scan a design and then print a physical object, layer by layer.

The items are generally made of plastic.

This season, designers sent their models strutting down the runway in 3D-printed gowns, equipped with 3D printed undergarments.

No outfit is complete without shoes.

"I think the really exciting thing about this is kind of like, it's a little bit like iTunes for your feet. But maybe five years before it's there so at some point yes, you'll just be able to put your foot size in and choose a pair of shoes or a garment or a hat. They'll be exactly the right size just for you," shoe designer Julian Hakes said.

The clothing came from computers. Even some of the people lining the runway were wearing them.

It's a growing trend -- recently a Victoria's Secret model got 3D printed angel wings for the company's annual fashion show.

The technology allows designers to try new ideas on their computer before printing the actual physical clothing.

"At the moment a haute couture outfit is very exclusive, but what if, with a body scan, you could have your own individually custom made item of clothing, created in front of your eyes?" said Faith Robinson of 3D Printshow.

It's part of a trend designers call, "computational fashion."

"Computational fashion is already quite a developed field of practice. But we want to show that this is more than art, more than just a design," Robinson said. 

For those designers experimenting with 3D printing, the technology is a canvas for creativity

It allows you to do things that you couldn't do through standard fabrication processes. So things that are too intricate for the hand, down to tenths of a millimeter in size," Hakes said.
 


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