This feature was originally written for the Daily Star, found here.
IN THE future rather than trawling the rails in Topshop or Primark you’ll be able to instantly print yourself an outfit! Amazing, right? We get the lowdown at London’s 3D Print Show.
For those not in the know, 3D printers are just a fancy version of the printers we already use at home.
However, instead of printing ink onto paper, these machines print molten material layer-by-layer, using anything from plastic to cookie dough to titanium.
The printing process can take hours for larger items, but it can craft shapes that would be even more difficult and expensive to make with run-of-the-mill tailoring.
3D printing company Stratasys hosted a display of works by designers using a 3D Printer-friendly version of Photoshop, aiming to move beyond cloth and leather for their couture.
Here’s our pick of the top five items created by futuristic designers.
For big nights out
The blocky design and acid colours feel like they were lifted out of a video game from the 80s, and the way the colour slowly fades from purple to green to orange is an impressive detail.
Speaking to the designer, Francis Bitonti, his inspiration for these killer heels was keeping up with technology.
“I want to create a design language for our time. I want to create the aesthetic for the next industrial revolution,” he said.
“We haven’t had software solutions for designing with colour. The technology is shifting, there are more colour options available now.
“We started using Photoshop CC exactly to address this gap in our software arsenal.”
For high-class dining
Usually, 3D printed items are made from hard, inflexible materials that would be impossible to wear as regular clothing, however the sleeveless cardigan and long coat here are actually made from over 1000 individual printed shapes that are then woven into the fabric like ordinary knitwear.
You might want to be careful if you give anyone a hug though, you may be a little pointier than you expect.
For bedroom fantasies
The loops and frills on the edges that would be an absolute nightmare to do with cloth are no problem for a printer and you’ll never have to worry about the piece fitting you — just print it in a larger or smaller size as you need.
Even the bust can be customised!
For a night at the theatre
The printed waves on the white dress can actually be removed and worn as a separate item — if you’re brave enough to reveal that much skin.
For a day at the races
Despite the delicate look, the hats are actually designed to be unisex.
The Mobius Nautilus, left, looks like a Kangol flat cap – imagined 30 years in the future.