Genius starts small: The world’s first 3D-printed fashion collection was created in the bedroom of a soon-to-be college grad. Starting with a less than rudimentary grasp of 3D printing, Israeli fashion student Danit Peleg rendered an entire ready-to-wear collection, initially feeding polyactic acid plastics (PLA) into a desktop 3D printer. However, the material proved brittle and inflexible, and for the next nine months Peleg cast around for an alternative.
She then discovered FilaFlex, a strong and flexible plastic, with which she printed her first piece: a triangular-latticed red jacket called ‘Liberté,’ (the word is woven into the design) which was inspired by the painting ‘Liberty Leading the People’ by Eugène Delacroix.
“I modified [the painting] so it would look like a 3D picture. I was inspired to work with the many triangles present in the painting’s composition,” Peleg wrote on her website. For this piece, she used 3D rendering software called Blender. Subsequently, Peleg began to experiment with an array of materials and printers, happening upon Andreas Bastian’s Mesostructured Cellular Materials, a synclastic material with snowflake-like patterning.
She then enlisted the help of 3D printing experts TechFactoryPlus and XLN to acquire different printers and go all nine yards on her vision, which she would present for her graduate collection required to obtain her fashion degree from Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel.
It took 2,000 hours to print the collection using her Witbox FDM desktop 3D printer and flexible FilaFlex filaments. “I wanted to create a ready-to-wear collection printed entirely at home using printers that anyone can get,” said Peleg.
Each A4-sized textile sheet took at least 20 hours to print, and each dress an average of 4,000 hours. The lace-like geometric detailing of each dress is strikingly three-dimensional, so that the dresses “have a topography and aren’t just flat textiles.”
Peleg wanted her models to walk the runway in head-to-toe 3D prints, so she printed fire engine-red high-heeled shoes inspired by designer Michele Badia. Although ecstatic about the design potential she has unearthed, Peleg concedes that 3D-printed fashion is still conceptual.
“I don’t think that people mostly would like to wear rubber for daily life,” she told the Times of Israel. “But I’m sure these structures will look much nicer if we can do it from cotton. In a few years, the material that we can put into the machines will be polyester maybe, and then it will feel better.”