The integration of technology in our everyday lives is no stranger to us. Every now and then, newer innovations surface, revolutionizing the very face of high-end corporate decision-making procedures as well as our day-to-day activities. 3D printing is one such innovation that has the world reeling with its tantalising potential.
Be it robotics, fashion, food or health care, 3D printing is everywhere. It has taken the entire concept of manufacturing to an entirely new level that is highly effective and is being accepted by industries worldwide.
Even though 3D printing is in an emerging stage, it has changed our perception of wearables massively. Let's take a look at the wearables that 3D printing has had a major impact on.
The age of technology has given rise to a more high-tech fashion trend that is expected to swamp the ramps in the future and this future is not too far-fetched.
Recently held Met Costume Institute's Spring Exhibition, themed, 'Manus x Machina: Fashion in the age of Technology' featured 3D printed dresses. One of these outfits includes a layered, cross-hatched dress from the 2015-16 Autumn/Winter haute couture line of Chanel. Couture indicates clothing that is made to fit your body, which means that it is expensive. However, with 3D printing, this can be brought right to your homes.
Andrew Bolton, Manus x Machina's curator pointed out, “Because it has the ability to mould exactly to your measurements, it’s environmentally friendly, too”.
Recently, a student from Cornell University designed a clothing line that is not only 3D printed, but recyclable too. Eric Baudette designed multipurpose clothing which can be altered by adding sleeves, collars, pockets etc. According to him, “The real perks of 3-D printing have not been used to their full potential. I brought together recycling with synthetic blends, customization from body scanning and optimization of the manufacturing process to drastically reduce production waste.”
The emerging trend of 3D printing has made its way into the jewelery industry. 3D printing jewelery is easy and quick to make. 3D printers are equipped with the capability to create intricate designs. Owing to 3D interactive presentation, mistakes in design can be eliminated.
“Finding a good [mould maker] can be a challenge”, Karen Giberson, president of the Accessories Council points out, “If you’re printing a design in a 3D printer,?the guesswork is taken out of it. You make a file; if you print it out here and you print it out overseas, it’s the same. It’s also a lot easier to change it if you don’t like it.”
3D printed shoes are turning out to be quite enticing for customers since these can be tailored to fit the wearer's feet ensuring perfect fit even if there is a slight difference in measurement between the left and the right foot. Additionally, it also takes into account the width and thickness of the feet, which traditional shoe-making techniques hardly take into account.
Nike, one of the popular names in the footwear industry has already adopted the 3D trend.Nike's president of innovation, Tom Clarks has said that Nike has been using the 3D printing technology for performance innovation since a few years now. Recently, at the RAPID tech conference in Orlando, Hewlett-Packard announced that Nike has been testing out 3D printers that have been designed for mass manufacturing.
Jet Bussemaker, Dutch education minister wore a 3D printed outfit to Prinsjesdag, the customary unveiling of the plans for the upcoming year's budget. Designed by Ph.D. student, Troy Nachtigall, the shoes turned out to be the most impressive. According to him, “It’s not just taking a gander at orthopedics, it’s taking a gander at keeping your feet sound and having more vitality and personal satisfaction toward the day’s end.”
3D printed watch is already a reality.
Christopher Laimer's first mechanical 3D printed watch may be not much of a convenient wearable, but it is definitely a breakthrough. The tourbillon of this watch is almost entirely 3D printed. You would be surprised to know that this watch was manufactured using a consumer-level 3D printer.
3D printing plays a major role in creating exciting wearables. With entrepreneurs quickly adopting this emerging trend, the future for 3D printing shows immense promise.