July 24, 2015 | By Alec
While 3D printing is slowly taking over fashion runways throughout the world, that usually involves a few 3D printed accessories or items as part of a larger ensemble. That’s exactly why it’s so remarkable to see a completely 3D printed fashion collection, which is exactly what Israeli fashion student Danit Peleg designed for her graduate collection at the Shenkar College of Design. What’s more, all pieces were simply designed at home on regular 3D printers.
Base in Tel-Aviv, Israel, the young designer Danit Peleg had to do design a five-piece graduation collection, and is believed to be the first to completely do so on a desktop 3D printer. Even more remarkable was that Danit knew absolutely nothing about 3D printing technology when she began. ‘In September 2014 I started working on my graduate collection for my Fashion Design degree at Shenkar,’ she says. ‘ I decided to work with 3D printing, which I barely knew anything about. I wanted to check if it'd be possible to create an entire garment using technology accessible to anyone. So I embarked on my 3D printing journey, without really knowing what the end result would be.’
She cleverly decided to contact local experts on 3D printing to find out what machines, materials and software could be used to design clothes. Fortunately, she had a concrete project to start out with and learn the ropes: A jacket inspired by Eugène Delacroix's painting ‘Liberty Leading the People.’ ‘I modified it so it would look like a 3D picture. The first piece I focused on was the "LIBERTE" jacket. I modeled the jacket using a software called Blender and produced 3D files; I could now start to experiment with different materials and printers,’ she reveals on her website.
Fortunately, she wasn’t’ alone, as the teams from 3D printing specialists TechFactoryPlus and XLN where happy to exist. ‘Together, we experimented with different printers (Makerbot, Pursa, and finally Witbox) and materials (e.g. PLA, soft PLA),’ she says. ‘I was really happy to join an incredible global community of makers who share their knowledge, designs, and time to help each other realize their dreams.’
All in all about a month was spent experimenting with various setups, but Danit just wasn’t happy with PLA as a material for clothes. ‘I was not getting very far because the material is inflexible, which is the key property of a "real" textile. The breakthrough came when I was introduced to FilaFlex, which is a new kind of filament; it's strong, yet very flexible. Using FilaFlex and the Witbox printer, I finally was able to print my red jacket,’ she reveals.
This breakthrough led to an extensive experimentation period. ‘Now that I found the right material, I started experimenting with different types of patterns. I found Andreas Bastian's Mesostructured Cellular Materials and by combining his incredible structures (and new ones I created with the same approach) and the flexible materials, I could create lace-like textiles that I could work with - just like cloth,’ she reveals.
Overall, the entire collection was designed over a nine month period, with 3D printers running for about 2,000 hours. Pretty soon, her home began to look a bit like a 3D printing farm. Some of the pieces were relatively easy to 3D print due to the nature of the patterns, but some detailed pieces took much longer. In all cases, she relied on design software Optitex to develop designs, which were subsequently reworked and made 3D printable in Blender. The results of this extensive project can be seen in the YouTube clip below.
Though being a small collection, the results are definitely impressive and inspiring. Perhaps most impressive is that the entire collection was completely 3D printed – down to the shoes. ‘When I was getting ready for the runway, I printed shoes for the models - I wanted the models to wear 100% 3d-printed materials - including the shoes,’ she says.
The experience has also convinced Danit of the viability of 3D printed clothes. ‘I really enjoyed the fact that I could create without intermediaries; I could design my own textiles and manufacture my own clothes, all from my own home. I didn't have to go buy cloth that someone else chose to sell - I could make my own,’ she says. ‘I think this is just the beginning. As technologies evolve, we will soon be all printing our own clothes at home.’
While that day is probably still very far away, this amazing collection definitely pushes the envelope and proves for once and for all that 3D printed clothes are not just a utopian concept. This is also doubtlessly not the last we will have heard of Danit, who has already said that she wants to continue working in the fashion industry and further push the boundaries of what 3D printing can achieve.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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Danit Peleg wrote at 7/24/2015 3:28:49 PM:
Thank you so much for your thorough article. You wrote so well. Thank you for your support. Throughout the year, I used your website as a resource for my research and I learned a TON thank to you. Keep up the amazing work. Danit Peleg