Stratasys‘ 3D printing technologies have a wide variety of applications, but one area we’ve been particularly interested in in recent years is its creative collaborations in the fashion world. Leveraging its multi-color and multi-material PolyJet technology, Stratasys has worked with designers to not only create some truly interesting pieces but to invent whole new types of garment production. Last year, for instance, fashion collective threeASFOUR debuted striking clothing pieces with details 3D printed directly onto the fabric at NYFW. Stratasys also worked with fashion house KAIMIN to 3D print onto denim, with amazing results.
Now, Stratasys is pushing the fabric 3D printing capability even further through partnerships with fashion designers Julia Koerner and Ganit Goldstein. The company worked with each designer in the context of Re-FREAM, a collaborative research project funded by the European Union that aims to explore the use of technology and 3D printing for the future of fashion.
ARID by Julia Koerner
Julia Koerner is an up-and-coming fashion designer who has worked on some truly cool projects, including assisting costume designer Ruth E. Carter with 3D printed wearables for the Marvel film Black Panther (2018). Her latest collection, ARID, was unveiled recently (and virtually) at ARS Electronica Festival. Stratasys’ PolyJet 3D printing technology played an integral role in the fashion collection, enabling Koerner to explore nature-inspired geometries while focusing on material efficiency and sustainability.
The ARID collection consists of 38 3D printed parts that are designed to be assembled to form either a full-length dress or a range of other garment types. The ARID collection can also create garments of various different sizes thanks to the integration of 3D printed connectors that are based on 3D scans of the wearer. Koerner has also devised a no-sew approach, meaning that the pieces of sustainable fabric embedded with 3D printed designs are assembled using 3D printed joinery.
WeAreAble by Ganit Goldstein
Working with Stratasys’ technology, 3D designer Ganit Goldstein also explored 3D printing directly onto fabrics in her WeAreAble project. Specifically, she pursued the ability to make customized fashion and demonstrated it by creating a Japanese-style garment.
Goldstein’s inspiration for the dress came from her year in Japan, where she learned the craft of interweaving and “ikat” coloring. The project thus draws from these traditional methods but applies the contemporary process of multi-color 3D printing. Goldstein thinks of the textile basis of the garment as a sort of skeleton, while the 3D printed embellishments add mesmerizing color and texture to its surface.
“Looking at the fashion world today, I want to introduce a new way of manufacturing – moving away from mass production to customized design,” said the designer. “3D printing has always offered the potential to personalize design in ways not possible before, but to truly create a new way to manufacture requires a new kind of textile. My goal is to create a new hybrid world of crafts and multi-color 3D printing – connecting past, new and future techniques to evolve fashion design.
“In fashion, it’s important that we continually optimize and evolve to introduce new design forms. During the past year, I experimented with numerous different fabrics and technologies to incorporate 3D printing within textiles. Achieving this milestone takes us away from 2D design and opens up a world of wearable 3D garments.”
Ultimately, Goldstein hopes that direct-to-textile 3D printing will help to transform the fashion industry, and present a new way to make tailored garments for consumers that will be cherished. Stratasys adds that this technique is advancing rapidly and pilot testing is underway, meaning that custom 3D printed clothes could be on the market sooner than one might expect!