I am in my last year of acquiring my MFA in Design and Technology and am concentrating on Fashion and Technology. It is an exciting time to be in this field and the innovations are literally pouring in. 3D printing has taken over the design world in the last couple of years and fashion is benefiting greatly! I don't think that all designer will rush into 3D printing, and displace the traditional methods of craftsmanship, but it is certainly a great creative tool to play with. Here are my top three favorite uses of 3D printing:
Jewelry is certainly the easiest and fastest to do. You can use the available plastics and metals currently used with 3D printers and jewelry is pretty much One Size Fits All!
Footwear is another area where 3D printing can be of huge benefit, but certainly not in just printing plastic shoes. Those can not be made cheaper than the existing molding processes and we certainly don't need to add more waist to our planet. The 3D printing process though can be incredibly beneficial in creating inventive forms, which are otherwise very difficult to prototype and even manufacture. A great example is the ‘Exoskeleton’ footwear Collection designed by Janina Alleyne and modeled by INNER | LEAF
Another great use of 3D printing is in customizing product to each specific need of the customers. Perfect example is this Earl Stewart's XYZ shoes are 3-D printed based on individual foot scans.