3D printing in fashion industry

Milan-based fashion designer Chiara Giusti has collaborated with Superforma Fablab, a digital manufacturing laboratory specializing in 3D printing, to create a 3D printed clothing line called TECHNĒ. As part of her final university project at Politecnico di Milano.

Models wear 3d printed clothing line TECHNE

Italian fashion designer uses Delta WASP 3MT INDUSTRIAL 4.0 to create 3D printing clothing line TECHNE

Giusti used a Delta WASP 3MT INDUSTRIAL 4.0 Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printer to deposit Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) at high temperatures directly onto stretched textiles to create complex three-dimensional textures and geometries.

3D Fashion Designer

To create TECHNĒ, Chiara studied how 3D printing is used with tension-activated textiles in-depth. Chiara’s main aim was to produce comfortable yet fashionable clothes where 3D printing played a structural and decorative role. Previously, 3D printed materials have been more rigid than most fabrics used in clothing, which is why Chiara used FDM machines to print directly onto apparel to make the clothes comfortable to wear.

Model wears 3d printed clothing line TECHNE

Chiara studied a range of materials and techniques to implement sustainable methods. She believes 3D printed fashion involving machines and craftsmanship can attract a consumer base with a conscious approach to style. She says: “In a moment when everything is carelessly duplicated and synthesized, the combined work of mind, hands, and machines could generate a new fashion system.” 

3D Printer for clothes

Furthermore, SuperForma’s Delta WASP 3MT INDUSTRIAL 4.0 FDM machine helped Chiara fine-tune the printing parameters and experiment with different materials that lead to creating the final clothing line. Chiara added: “It was CEO and founder Mattia Ciurnelli of SuperForma who followed the progress of the experimentation and helped me to manage the available technologies with his competence in digital fabrication.”

Delta WASP 3MT INDUSTRIAL 4.0 prints on fabric for the clothing line TECHNE
Delta WASP 3MT INDUSTRIAL 4.0 prints on fabric for the clothing line TECHNE

Superforma is part of the international WASP Hub network promoted by WASP. Aside from its work with TECHNĒ, WASP has worked on other large-scale structures, such as partnering with the Rossana Orlandi gallery in Milan to showcase the Gaia, a 3D printed eco-house created with sustainable materials. 

Strips of photos of a model wearing 3d printing colthing line TECHNE
Strips of photos of a model wearing 3d printing colthing line TECHNE
Strips of photos of a model wearing 3d printing colthing line TECHNE

Chiara believes her creativity came from her knowledge in pattern making, which then influenced her ability to question, analyze, and rethink it throughout the study of the manufacturing process and experimentation with FDM printing machines. TECHNĒ was created with the ambition to combine form and function in 3D printed clothes. Chiara said: “Usually, 3D printing is used to create showpieces, sculptural structures, and even when printing materials and fabrics merge, additive manufacturing has a mainly decorative/ornamental role.”  

Model wears 3d printed clothing line TECHNE
Model wears 3d printed clothing line TECHNE

Iris Van Herpen as inspiration

Esteemed fashion designer Iris van Herpen, known for her occasional ‘decorative/ornamental’ application of 3D printing in her designs, debuted her 3D printed ‘face jewelry’ at Paris Fashion Week 2019. The collection entitled ‘Cellchemy’ was created by 3D scanning each model’s face to map out a shape highlighting shifts in density and contours of their faces. The final result was a series of lace-like masks created by a high-resolution multi-material printer.    

Model wears 3d printed clothing line TECHNE
Model wears 3d printed clothing line TECHNE

Chiara said: “I definitely believe that 3D printed fabrics could enter the global fashion market soon, but designers should combine their experience with the knowledge of scientists and engineers to further explore this sector, improving and stabilizing techniques and machines to obtain reliable, ergonomic products for the end-user.” 

Large scale 3D printer

stampante 3d industriale
Delta WASP 3MT INDUSTRIAL 4.0

Delta WASP 3MT INDUSTRIAL 4.0 is the perfect printer to create large size pieces, with filament or pellet materials.