Skip to content

3D Print

Print your own clothes – Electroloom


It’s finally here: The first 3D printer for clothes is now a reality. A team of biomedical, mechanical and computer engineers has been working on a machine that “prints” real clothes called Electroloom. Liz Bacelar, founder of Decoded Fashion, gave last year an estimate to Mashable: In three years we will have printed clothes. Well, with technology, we should know by now that reality beats any prediction. Electroloom has launched a Kickstarter campaign to test the technology for the first time after more of a year of development. The team won a competition and they were working on this project in a tech accelerator in San Francisco.  The price for this first examples is for a “technology (that)reduces the traditional textile manufacturing process into a single step. Instead of sending raw material through factories where it undergoes numerous processing steps to create a traditional textile, we are able to directly convert raw material to finished good.” Cool, right? header Well, what I found more interesting is how the team came up with the idea. As you read before, this is a team of biomedical engineers…So what has this in common with textile design? 3dprintingindustry has the answer:

“During their time studying biomedical engineering, they were inspired by the way in which blood vessels could be engineered using cardiovascular tissue. “While we dreamt of digitizing clothing, and sharing garments as files across the Internet, the actual technological solution seemed elusive. Until we made a strange connection between metal chopsticks and blood vessels.” They then applied the same principles to bond fibers using metal chopsticks and an electric field.

Listen, this is the kind of innovation we want to see in fashion and the pivotal change we were talking in our last post. Multidisciplinary teams and new ways to do things.

“Most people say it looks like magic. We tend to agree. By the time the job is done, the numerous fibers that have been deposited will have formed a single, seamless piece of fabric that retains the shape of the mold.” 

You can support their campaign in Kickstarter and even get your hands on one of the first 3d printers for clothes. The prices go a bit high, but still, 100$ for a cutting edge tank top doesn’t seem too crazy if you think that for that price you don’t even buy a t-shirt by Kenzo. Ready to print some clothes?

3D printing – Interview with Roberta Lucca – Wonderluk

Wonderluk is a London-based company that creates “made-to-order” jewellery utilising one of the most interesting technologies today, 3D printing. With a very interesting selection of products and a strong manifesto (Don’t blend in. Ever.) we wanted to know more. We talked to Wonderluk’s co-funder, Roberta Lucca.

Originally from Brazil, Roberta Lucca lives and works in London. Having a background in marketing and the luxury and innovation industry, three years ago she decided to build her own firm so she founded a successful game company with two friends called Bossa Studios. But her entrepreneurial spirit didn’t stop there, this year she launched Wonderluk, a 3D printed jewellery brand.


El Fashionista: Why did you decide to start a fashion business using 3D printing technology?

Roberta: I’ve always loved fashion. And after working all these years in the game industry, I’ve realized that there are a lot of similarities between the people who work with games and the people who work in fashion, even though they are very distinct, both are much in love about their craft.

By chance, a year ago I bought a 3D printer and I started to feed it with items, seeing how it works and exploring fashion from a totally different perspective.

My innovation brain, with my passion for technology and passion for fashion kind of all got together with the 3D printing opportunity and I said, “well, there is actually an opportunity here, to bring something that is crafted, innovative, and individual to fashion consumers”.

Andre (Schober) and I work together, and after talking about it, we decided to join together to create something for the fashion forward consumer who wants to try fashion accessories in a very different way.

There is also another reason. We all know how the fashion value chain is broken. We know that clothes travel thousands of miles around the world. Only in the U.K there is a 50% of overproduced garments, meaning that everything that you see in stores, out of those everything, 50% will end up not being consumed.

And suddenly, here is a piece of digital information on your screen that you can customise, make individual and make it your own. And that little piece will only exist …if you wish so. It is nothing out there in the wild being pushed to you as a consumer.

E: What I found interesting about your proposal, is that you are bringing a luxury feeling to something that at first glanze would seem too “geeky” to be called luxurious.

R: Exactly, especially when I started out but even now is the same thing. You have some pioneers like Iris Van Herpen and other great designers trying to bring avant-garde, premium couture fashion into 3D printing, but 90% of 3D printing is made by geeks for geeks. And there is nothing wrong with that, but in a sense you end up excluding a lot of people, a lot of women who would love to get a hold of consuming innovative fashion.

E:Tell us a bit about the materials you use. I think a common thought when looking at this kind of products would be “Will it break easily, will it last?”

We use nylon and I must say that the process is really amazing. Here we have basically a massive industrial machine that takes a lot of nylon powder inside it and this nylon get desintegrated. And after all this sintering process (the process of forming a solid mass of material by heat and/or pressure without melting it to the point of liquefaction), through the inputs of the file, which is the design, we removed that chamber of powder and it is like opening a present, a kind of archeological process and all of these beautiful pieces surface out of this powder. Then we do the finishing to make the product look very smooth so that it doesn’t hurt your skin at all, and then we try different colours.

It’s impressive how these materials can make pieces that are super rigid, sturdy and difficult to break, but which at the same time are delicate, like the Tube ring.


E: I see that you put a lot of emphasis in design. I appreciate the different type of styles and designs that you offer. ¿Who designs the pieces?

R: We have a network of seven designers from the UK, from Spain, from Italy and Japan. They are simply amazing, they basically took on a brief I discussed with them and we produce three collections. That is why there is a little bit of something for everyone, there are bolder designs and there are more delicate designs, because we wanted to create very distinctive collections. We have the “Wonder woman” (that’s my inspiration) she is strong, she is there to conquer the world, to be powerful.

E: How did you choose your designs? Having the opportunity to build literally whatever you want, I guess it wasn’t that easy to make up your mind on what was going to be produced.

Could you tell us more how did you make your decisions?

R: We have three collections, Fluid inspired by the fluidity of life, and there are a lot of curves and folds, objects that seem to be soft textiles that of course are hard pieces. Somehow we wanted to create a mix of 2d and 3d pieces, that are an illusion of the eye. Pop Art is basically inspired by the sixties and the pop-art scene. A very playful and colourful collection. Wonder Woman is my special inspiration, strong pieces that say: “I’m powerful, I’m here to conquer the world”.

We went for bold designs because we thought that this what the brand is all about. We wanted to establish something that is beautiful, that is elegant and that really stands out from any other 3d printers collection.

We work very closely together with the designers on the whole process, from the original brief, to the creation of the pieces on the paper, then on 3D on the computer, the whole sampling…Choosing the colours was a very exciting moment for us, because we know how much difference about the perception about what the product is. And finally the tips for styling


E: Can you tell us more about your vision and what kind of product would you like to have in 5 years?

R: Our vision for Wonderluk is to make fashion personal again. It’s really about communicating a message to the world that it is possible to have unique garments and a unique style. We like to call it “co-couture” meaning that you can co-create products together with the designer

What I see for us is to expand into metals, silver and titanium. I see we will be able to create garments. I believe Wonderluk will be able in five year time to bring back to the fashion consumer the ability to have something tailored made at a reasonable cost. They will consume something that is individual to them.

E: I think it is interesting that you are evaluating the option of new materials, because you have to be a bit tech conscious to appreciate these kind of products.

R: Exactly. And because we are in such an early stage of 3d printing and fashion, there is a lot of education that needs to happen. We have been going to a lot of fashion events here in London since we went live nine weeks ago and it’s incredible how people react to that. At first they look at the product and they are amazed, they love the design. And then they touch it and then realize that the texture is very different from the traditional textures you see in fashion accesories out there. And they get really excited when they understand how everything is made. So I think you are right, there is still a bit of education to be done but it’s very exciting.

E: Can you tell me about the biggest challenges you can foresee for your brand?

R: I think that the biggest challenges will have to do with the reassurance of people that this will really change the way people consume things. As you probably know from wearable tech, there is a little fear, ‘will this really work for me?’ Am I’m getting too techy, and not fashionable anymore?’. I think that would be the biggest challenge. But other than that I do see that as long as there are more companies all the opportunities will overcome this pretty quickly. Technology is evolving very rapidly.


Eugenialejos – 3D printing Sculptural Fashion

With the idea of creating a woman that is regenerating from human to half monster and half machine, Spanish designer Eugenia Alejos works with materials that are both hard and tough as metal, leather, yet silk and neoprene. The volumen is everywhere to be seen: with high resolution prints, holographic plastics and 3D printed pieces to represent the machine. Other techniques include laser cut and dyed surfaces to make it look artificial yet animalistic.

Silhouettes are developed from futuristic distorted proportions and abnormal features, atom and triangle jewelries are used to accentuate this look. We wanted to know more about her views on 3D printing and fashion:

What do you like most about creating products in 3D printing ? What is in your opinion the biggest limitation?

I don’t think there limitation in this field since it is in constant growth. I work many of my accessories with this technique because it allows me to bet on speed and type of modeling, which otherwise would be impossible in the field of jewelry.

What materials do you use?

Any selection depends only on the piece that I design. I  mainly work with polyamide, aluminum, steel, 18k gold, silver, copper and platinum.

What is your business model with jewels ?  Are they limited edition pieces or made to order? 

In each collection some pieces are made on demand and other limited edition pieces are always produced . We do not want to stay in the same concept we have about jewelry, since there are artists who are devoted to it in a really successful way. We’d like to offer something new that not always is the usual or strictly defined. We often work with special orders where we first select the materials and then fabricate custom pieces

How do you see the future of 3D printing in relation to fashion?

Unstoppable .



Cool Tech Shoes

Wearable Tech was once considered something of science fiction. Not anymore. Today is a palpable and thriving reality. Fashion and technology are more and more connected and interested in providing innovative solutions to consumers. The recent hires of Apple confirm this trend: over the past few months the company has added to its team executives from major fashion brands, such as Angela Ahrendts (former Burberry CEO), Paul Deneve (former  YSL CEO), Catherine Monier (former president of  YSL Europe), Musa Tariq (former Social Media Senior Director of  Nike), or Patrick Pruniaux from Tag Heuer (something that confirmed the suspicions that Apple is working on some kind of cool digital wristwatch).

To show how this “partnership” is transforming everyday items, we made a selection of 6 shoes that have the technology as a differential.


Float by United Nude

United Nude, famous for its modern style founded by architect Rem Koolhaas, has embraced the potential of technology developing bold creation: shoes that are printed entirely by a 3D printer. Launched in partnership with 3D Systems company, they can be made at home with the Cube 3D printer.


Lechal Footwear

In order to help visually impaired people or people who need support to locate, the Lechal shoes have intelligent insoles enable with GPS tracking that vibrate to indicate the way you should go. As a bonus, the shoes also has a monitor of physical activity.


Adidas Micropacer OG

Adidas launched the Micropacer in 1984, the first running shoe in the world to incorporate technological elements, able to calculate distance, speed and calories lost. To celebrate 30 years of this invention, the brand has relaunched this month its innovative shoes, keeping the same colors and features, but incorporating technical improvements to give more comfort to the runners.


Sneaker II by Recreus

Shoes that besides being made ​​by a 3D printer, fit in your pocket. Today this is a reality thanks to the company Recreus, known to produce an exclusive filament to 3D printers, capable of bending without losing its original format. The model of the shoe, designed by Ignacio Garcia, is available for free download at the website of the company.


Lauren Tree Sandal by Continuum

Continuum has been a pioneer in linking fashion and 3D printing. Among the many shoes created by the brand with this technology, one in particular stands out: the Lauren sandal, whose inspiration comes from the organic forms of nature. A proof that innovation does not always need a futuristic aesthetic.


The Ninja

A shoe that at first glance seems simple, but that hides a lot of technology: The Ninja weighs less than 130 grams, repels water and is extremely comfortable. The shoes were born as a project of The UT.LAB and were funded by a crowd funding campaign – where they raised 10 times more than necessary for funding.

3D printing – Iris Van Herpen

3D Printing is revolutionizing the world, music, art, design, science; not even something as organic as the human body is isolated from the tridimensional possibilities.

One of the designers that is embracing 3D Printing more successfully is of course Iris Van Herpen. She sees technology as a great innovation possibility for the runway world, taking advantage of the flexibility of different materials such as silicone. Van Herpen has been able to create garments in both Haute Couture and ready-to-wear that thanks to the 3D printing show the contrast between the organic shape of the human body and the structure of the new technologies.

In her work Van Herpen combines fashion and art to visually startling expression. Her garments often provide an organic and futuristic impression where silhouettes and surfaces do not follow conventional patterns of how a garment will look like, because for there the artistic expression is the focus. Van Herpens collections revolve around themes such as microorganisms, radiation, mummies, gambling, electricity and black magic.

2014 has been a great year for the designer (and for 3D printing in general). She is showing an installation at Le Bon Marche, she was invited by A Magazine curated by to curate their SS14 edition:

Inspiration is a matter of sensitivity. It is the ability to collect from the past, present and future as they shift past us simultaneously. In this issue of A Magazine I want to affirm the importance of alliance and fraternisation, to transgress the experiential boundaries of those versatile relationships that are the catalysts for true inspiration. Iris Van Herpen

And her spectacular walk-in sculptures are currently available to be seen in two exhibitions: at the Textile Museum in Borås, Sweden and as part of the Vanitas: Fashion and Art exhibition at the Bass Museum in Miami.

You can actually buy these amazing creations at her webshop or at The Corner. You’ll  just need deep pockets!

iris-van-herpen-exhibition5 iris-van-herpen-exhibition4 iris-van-herpen-exhibition3 iris-van-herpen-exhibition2

The images are from her AW14 collection called Biopiracy. The video shows Lou Stoppard, Nick Knight, Carri Munden, Paula Goldstein and Hettie Judah discussing the Iris Van Herpen Biopiracy show live on 4 March 2014


The following images are from the Borås exhibition, courtesy of Sanjin Đumišić from the Swedish site AlltFö 

iris-van-herpen-textilmuseet-13-photo-sanjin-dumisic iris-van-herpen-textilmuseet-12-photo-sanjin-dumisic iris-van-herpen-textilmuseet-11-photo-sanjin-dumisic iris-van-herpen-textilmuseet-10-photo-sanjin-dumisic iris-van-herpen-textilmuseet-9-photo-sanjin-dumisic iris-van-herpen-textilmuseet-8-photo-sanjin-dumisic iris-van-herpen-textilmuseet-7-photo-sanjin-dumisic iris-van-herpen-textilmuseet-6-photo-sanjin-dumisic iris-van-herpen-textilmuseet-3-photo-sanjin-dumisic iris-van-herpen-textilmuseet-5-photo-sanjin-dumisic iris-van-herpen-textilmuseet-4-photo-sanjin-dumisic iris-van-herpen-textilmuseet-2-photo-sanjin-dumisic iris-van-herpen-textilmuseet-1-photo-sanjin-dumisic iris-van-herpen-textilmuseet-15-photo-sanjin-dumisic

This post was made in collaboration with Lina María Rodríguez @nagotsign

3D Printed Shoes (zapatos impresos)

For quite sometime I’ve been wanting to write a post about shoes produced by 3D-printers. I know, it still sounds a bit odd, but since a few years, it’s been one of the most interesting proposals in shoe design (and something that makes you dream about ideate your own shoe and wear it the same day).

To understand this complicated project, I recommend you participating in the DHUB Fab workshops if you are in Barcelona, where you can use 3D printers to create small prototypes. At Dhub you can also see the work of designer Sjors Bergmans. Sjors is an independent Dutch designer that always had shoes around him: his father has been designing footwear since 1970. The shoes you see in these pictures are from 2006 when he presented the “Head over Heels” model at the Schoen3 exhibition, a collaboration with Dutch research institute TNO and that we can say were the first wearable shoes of this kind.

Hace un tiempo ya que tengo ganas de escribir un post sobre los zapatos impresos en 3D. Sí, sé que todavía suena extraño, pero ya desde hace años es una de las propuestas mas innovadoras en diseño de producto y en este caso, zapatos (algo que te hace soñar con la posibilidad de idear tu zapato y llevarlo el mismo día).

Para entender el proceso, os recomiendo los workshops del DHUB Fab en Barcelona, dónde se pueden utilizar las impresoras 3D creando pequeños prototipos. En una parte de la exposición del Dhub, podemos ver el trabajo de Sjors Bergmans. Sjors es un diseñador independiente holandés que siempre estuvo muy cerca de los zapatos: su padre ha diseñado calzado desde 1970. La propuesta de zapatos impresos que ven en la foto se remontan a 2006 cuando presentó el modelo “Head over Heels” en la exposición Schoen3, una colaboración con el instituto de investigación holandés TNO y que se puede decir que fué el primer zapato creado con esta tecnología.

Sjors Bergman designs

Currently there are many other proposals. For example, the work of Marloes ten Bhömer, the acclaimed Dutch product designer based in London. The model you see in the pictures below are called “Rapidprototypeshoe”. Made to fit perfectly, this design have two layers of different material in microscopic structures and some parts of the shoe are actually removable. Marloes is interested in working with the rapid manufacturing (RM) technology not only for prototypes, but for final products, as she explains in this interview. There she also explains the advantages of working with this type of technique.

It’s quite difficult to convince manufacturers to produce parts for products that are outside their usual industry. In my case I use production methods and materials that are rarely or not even used in the footwear industry. This makes (sofar) for very niche market shoes and low volume production. With rapid manufacturing there are two advantages for me; I don’t have to convince anyone to produce parts for me and there are no extra set-up costs for low volume production or one-offs.

Actualmente hay muchos otros tipos de propuestas. Por ejemplo el trabajo de Marloes ten Bhömer, aclamada diseñadora de producto holandesa que vive y trabaja en Londres. El modelo que veís aquí se llama “Rapidprototypeshoe”. Hechos para un ajuste perfecto al pie, este diseño tiene dos capas de diferentes materiales hechos con estructuras microscópicas y algunas de las partes de zapato se pueden quitar. Marloes está interesada en trabajar con la tecnología de “Fabricación Rápida” no sólo para prototipos, sino para productos finales, según comenta en esta entrevista. Allí también explica las bondades de trabajar con este tipo de técnica:

Es bastante difícil convencer a los fabricantes para que produzcan partes de los productos que están fuera de lo usual en la industria. En mi caso, uso los métodos de producción y materiales que son raros, o que incluso no se usan en la industria del calzado. Ésto lo hace (hasta ahora) un mercado muy nicheado de zapatos y con un volumen bajo de producción. La fabricación rápida tiene dos ventajas para mí: No tengo que convencer a nadie para producir las partes y no hay costes extras para un volúmen bajo de producción, o productos únicos.

Naim Josefi y Souzan Youssouf are the creators of this “haute-couture” version of the 3D shoe. Students of the Beckmans School and Konstfack in Stockholm, they presented it at SFW last year. The model is called “Melonia”, and “comes from the concept of no waste. They are products for an industrial ecology. Due to the homogeneous material they are easier to recycle and create a closed loop. A vision for shoe production is to be able to go to a shop where you can scan your foot, and print your shoe.”

Naim Josefi y Souzan Youssouf, estudiantes de la escuela Beckmans de Estocolmo y Konstfack respectivamente, son los creadores de este modelo “alta costura” como ellos lo llaman y que presentaron el año pasado. El modelo “Melonia” tiene como idea básica el no tirar nada, una industria ecológica por el tipo de materiales que usa. La idea sería que te escanean el pie en la tienda y allí te imprimen el zapato.

In a recent interview, Janne Kyttanen of Freedom of Creation, explains the change in the way we think when buying things that 3D printing represents: a more direct way of having what you want. While the 3D haven’t taken off in the last 10 years, each day the prices are for these artefacts are going down (you can find a reasonable good machine for 1000 euros he says).

En una entrevista reciente, Janne Kyttanen de Freedom of Creation, explica el cambio en la forma de pensar el consumo que representa la impresión 3D: una forma más directa de tener lo que quieres. Mientras el 3D no se ha desarrollado demasiado en los últimos 10 años, cada día los precios de la tecnología son mas baratos (puedes encontrar una máquina razonable por 1000 euros, comenta Kyttanen).

Freedom of Creation

Will we print our shoes at home in a few years time? Is it what you’d like, or do you prefer to have your shoes done by experts with exquisite craftsmanship and natural materials? What do you think?

Imprimiremos nuestros zapatos en casa dentro de unos años? Es eso lo que te gustaría, o prefieres que tus zapatos estén hechos por artesanos del zapato utilizando materiales naturales? Qué opinas?

Photos: Dhub, Sonny, MassCostumization, i.materialize, Beckmans, Freedom of Creation