5 Times 3D Printing Moved Fashion Forward

Fashion designers push fabric to its limits, folding, stitching, and starching textiles to sculpt new and fabulous creations. No wonder they love 3D printing. It offers them even more possibilities to sculpt beyond the confines of fabric, combining shape and color in exciting new ways. 

Design is all about experimentation, and 3D printing allows creative people to experiment with shape, form, and fit to bring their artistic vision to life — and to our wardrobes. From earrings to eyewear and dresses to sneakers, you’ll find 3D-printed fashion in all sorts of surprising places.

Here are five examples of how designers used 3D printing to drive fashion forward.

  1. Red carpets and royalty 
3D-printed mantle and crown from Black Panther

Image courtesy of Marvel’s Black Panther/Costume Design by Ruth Carter

Hollywood loves 3D printing for all the same reasons that fashion designers do. When Ruth E. Carter, costume designer for Marvel’s Black Panther movie, needed to create costumes worthy of superhero royalty, she collaborated with Austrian designer Julia Korner. Together they created the striking crown and mantle combinations for Queen Ramonda, with technical support from i.materialise’s parent company Materialise. And as further proof of her love of the technology, Ruth wore a custom 3D-printed collar created by Julia to the Oscars where her costume designs were nominated for an award. Her beautiful 3D-printed black collar was hand-embellished with Swarovski crystals to add extra glamour.

  1. From head to toe 
3D-printed high heels

Image courtesy of Katrien Herdewyn

Maybe collars and crowns aren’t really your thing. But everyone needs a pair of shoes, and some would say that you can’t own too many pairs! When it comes to footwear, 3D printing is giving designers creative license to reach new heights. Shoe designer Katrien Herdewyn uses 3D printing technology along with her eye for detail and love of craftsmanship. She’s on a mission “to design shoes that are high tech and high fashion at the same time.” Knowing the importance of comfort as well as style, her brand, Elegnano uses 3D printing to create beautiful shoes for men and women.

In addition to our i.materialise designers, these last three designs highlight incredible work of other members in the community. Hopefully something will inspire your next fashion print!

  1. Fashion you can print at home
3D-printed fashion pieces by Danit Peleg

Image courtesy of Danit Peleg 

A 3D printing fashion designer who has become quite popular is Danit Peleg. She created the world’s first fashion collection printed at home, has given a TED talk about her design work, and was on the Top 50 Women in Tech list. Her 3D-printed clothing is revolutionizing fashion by giving buyers the option to download limited edition digital designs. These can be printed at their closest 3D printer — it’s exactly the kind of fast fashion we can get behind!

“I’m so excited that now anyone can collect and trade digital fashion. Imagine owning the digital version of a garment along with its printable twin! Collect it, trade it, print it today or years from now, how cool is that?” -Danit Peleg

As well as creating her own design collections Danit also offers online workshops. With her help and 3D printing, anyone can become a fashion designer without ever threading a needle!

  1. Traditional craft meets 3D technology 
Kornit 3D-Printed Embroidered Clothes

Image courtesy of Kornit Digital

Not all 3D-printed fashion is destined for the red carpet. After all, even the biggest stars need something comfortable to slip into away from the spotlight. These embroidered 3D-printed clothes are the perfect inspiration for day-to-day wear. The patterns are printed directly onto the fabric in layers with the look and detailing of traditional embroidery. Expect to see more of this kind of use of 3D printing in fashion in the future.

  1. Business casual
Ministry of Supply 3D-Printed Knit Blazer

Image courtesy of Ministry of Supply

A comfortable, knitted cardigan is a wardrobe basic for many of us. Ministry of Supply created a contemporary 3D-printed twist on this old favorite. Combining 3D printing and 3D knitting to create their business wear lines has resulted in reducing waste by up to 35%. Their iconic knit-blazer offers the style of a blazer with the comfort of a cardigan.  In 2020 they responded to the pandemic by adding 3D Print-Knit face masks to their collections too.


It’s your turn to turn heads… 

Whether you love to dress up in outrageous designs or are guided by comfort when deciding what to wear, 3D printing can shake up your own fashion designs. Customized one-of-a-kind designs, personalized fit, and a world of creative solutions await you. So, the next time you’re wondering what to wear take some inspiration from these 3D printing fashion designs and create your own!

Upload your 3D print design today to get started!