In combination with a 3D bodyscan machine, clothing can be made directly in 3D instead of making a 3D shape (human body) in a 2D shape (pattern) to make it into a 3D shape (garment) again.
However it is currently difficult to create the same look and feel that textiles have in 3D. There are options as you can see:
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Electroloom 3D printing with fibres
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Marijke Timmermans & Theresia Grevinga
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Flexible 3D print materials, like TPU from Kinematics
Which products could you make?
There are so many possibilities, but for a fashion designer it could be interesting to make buttons and other interlocking systems with a 3D printer or whole garments, as could make it easy for disassembly.
An interesting method is 3D printing velcro tape “hairs”
Like to try it? With the free program SketchUp and a FabLab you can start right away!
You can also change the flexibility of textiles when you print on it. This makes it possible to make more rigid parts that are stronger combined with the flexible textile parts.
Or use 3D printing as a way to add decoration to your textiles.
To make 3D printing suitable for the circular economy you have to consider the biodegradability or recyclability of the material. Fusing different materials together might make it hard to recycle or biodegrade them.
Biodegradable materials that can be printed are for example PLA, Wood, bamboo, cork, chocolate, algae. When these are printed on biodegradable materials like organic cotton, linen, tencel, the full material can biodegrade. These materials are sometimes also recycable, for instance you can melt the chocolate and reuse it.
Recycable, not biodegradable, materials that can be printed are for example plastics, gold, silver, aluminum.
Return the product
When a user does not want to use the product anymore, in a circular economy they could return the item to you and you can recycle the material. With plastic this can for example be done with the Filabot.
Maybe rent out your products so you get the valuable material back ones the user is done with it?