Danit Peleg is pushing the envelope in the world of 3D-printed fashion. After nine months of research and development and 2,000 hours of printing, the 27-year-old created the first 3D-printed clothing collection, produced entirely from an at-home 3D printer.
Peleg created the 5-piece collection as part of her graduate degree in Fashion Design at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Tel Aviv. The designer was originally inspired by Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People. Influenced by the triangle composition of the iconic nineteenth century painting, Peleg modified the work into a 3D image.
At first, Peleg experimented with PLA, a hard and inflexible material that is typically used in consumer 3D printers. Her breakthrough came when she found a strong, flexible type of filament called FilaFlex.
Peleg paired the material with new cellular structures devised by 3D printing researcher, Andreas Bastian, in order to created lattice patterns that she could work with “just like cloth.” Using a Witbox printer—an $1,800 machine—Peleg produced her first piece—the “LIBERTE” jacket.
Spending about 400 hours per each outfit in her collection, Peleg quickly found that she had to scale production up to a “3D printing farm.” She ultimately used several printers to manufacture the collection in time for its runway debut at Shenkar. The designer wanted the models to be clothed entirely in 3D-printed materials, so she even printed pairs of red high heels, inspired by industrial designer, Michele Badia.
3D-printed clothing is hardly a new phenomenon. Dutch designer Iris van Herpen has been showcasing 3D-printed outfits on the runway for years, and most recently partnered with 3D Systems to produce garments using SLA technology. In San Francisco, a team of engineers created the Electroloom, the world’s first 3D fabric printer. Fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht is also famed for her 3D-printed designs and technological couture. In her latest design project, she collaborated with Audi to produce a series of four dresses. Each dress incorporates design and technological elements from the car manufacturer’s A4 sedan.
What differentiates Peleg from these other designers and engineers is her emphasis on accessibility. Peleg’s collection shows the variety of designs that are possible with this type of approach, as her pieces range from cutting-edge to conventional in style. She created the collection without intermediaries, and designed and manufactured her own textiles all from her home.
“I wanted to check if it’d be possible to create an entire garment using technology accessible to anyone,” she writes on her website.
“I believe that technology will help democratize fashion and give designers more independence in the creation process.”