We often say that 3D printing’s biggest limit is not in the technology but in awareness of what the technology can be used for. All you need is a touch of creativity and inventiveness and even a low cost 3D printer can become a strategic tool in the making of high-end fashion products. For example for a glamorous 3D printed pochette.
That is the recent case of Solid3Dprinting, one of the metropolitan 3D print shops (find it in the Directory’s database) and its recent collaboration with fashion designer Gianluca Capannolo for the production of a series of stylish “pochettes” which literally “strutted their 3D printed stuff” on the runaway during Milan Fashion Week.
Clearly the materials used in low-cost 3D printing (mainly ABS filament) are not considered nearly qualitative enough for the exterior finish on any truly high-end fashionable product at this time. However all products need a quality finish and 3D printing is ideal for small series. These two features combined make affordable FFF 3D printing a potential disruptive force in a fashion industry that is built on low numbers of very exclusive and unique products.
Endless 3D Printed Pochette Possibilities
In this case, Elena Cardinali, the fashion designer working with Ginaluca Capannolo, needed a short series of 10 box-like structures to form the scaffold of the pochettes. She decided to turn to 3D printing for producing them. The price that Solid3DPrinting’s owner Mauro could offer them on such a short series was significantly lower than any offered to them by traditional plastic molding. It was a win win situation, as the job was a piece of cake for Mauro’s Zortrax M200 and 3ntr A2v2 3D printers, even working with high strength ABS material.
As can be seen from the photos the result is quite impressive and the new manufacturing process is highly repeatable, even with different finishes, to obtain highly exclusive fashion products. Among the new possibilities offered by low-cost 3D printing, that of creating objects that do not yet exist is just one. Creating objects that already exist in numbers that were once impossibly low to justify the costs is an entirely new area to explore. And one of certain growth in the never-ending search for mass customization.