Invented in the 1980’s, 3D printing was used primarily by architects and engineers to sculpt prototypes and models. However, the recent introduction of home 3D printers and the increase in its affordability has expanded its utility into many areas of creative design.

Danit Peleg | 3D Printed Fashion

Tel-Aviv based designer Danit Peleg produced the first home printed 3D fashion collection. Converting patterns made on fashion design software to 3D graphic design programmes, printed sheets of lace-like textiles were merged together to create a simple combination of structure and fluidity.

Danit Peleg | 3D Printed Fashion

Her designs incorporated the use of FilaFlex, a softer and more malleable filament that allows the dresses to move in their mesh-like form. Compared to haute couture runway collections, the fresh, simple and clean lines of Danit’s collection reveal a stark gravitation towards a more ready-to-wear side of 3D garments.

Noa Raviv | Hard Copy Collection

Noa Raviv’s Hard Copy collection translates black repetitive lines of 2D grids into a 3D optical illusion. The broken shapes of damaged Greek and Roman sculptures were used to advise the asymmetric and fractured silhouettes of Raviv’s dresses. Departing from the repetitious standard of one type of ideal beauty as symbolised by classical sculptures, Raviv seeks to reform a different sense of originality in beauty. In order to emphasise a sense of distortion, the NYC-based designer incorporates 3D printed pieces made from corrugated layers of polymer with monochrome and sheer layers of tulle and silk to manipulate into ruffles and pleats. (Dezeen Magazine, 2014).

Francis Bitonti | Molecule Shoes

Francis Bitonti’s collaborations with Adobe and 3D printing company Stratasys have propelled him to the forefront of 3D printing technology. Reaching out from the depths of traditional fashion inspiration, Bitonti has 3D printed a capsule collection of Molecule Shoes generated from variations of a mathematical algorithm designed by John Conway meant to create cellular structures. In effect, each pair is configured differently from one another and “grown in the digital environment one pixel at a time” (Francis Bitonti, 2014). The stalactite-like shoes display a rainbow gradient reminiscent of an underwater world.

Francis Bitonti | Brissle Dress

Experimenting with the idea of transitioning the solidity of the body into an atmospheric liquid, Bitoni’s Bristle Dress manipulates translucent PLA filament into a coral-shaped expression of volume for the top piece.

Francis Bitonti | Brissle Dress

Combining artificial 3D filament with the natural texture of rabbit fur, the sectional skirt extends the silhouette and volume of the overall piece. 


Reflecting on personal memories, dreams and her Italian background, designer Franscesca Paolin’s creations express a fun and colourful combination of 3D printed and handmade crafted aesthetics, reflective of ornate embroidery.


Paolin | 3D Circular Chain Cuff


Paolin’s newest collection, Atmosphere SS16, features a number of elegantly abstracted 3D printed accessories that conceptualises change experienced by time. A colour palette of soothing pastel gradients, Paolin’s accessories embody the tranquility of passing time and serenity of looking back into the past with a meditative glance.

Commenting on the boundless limits and artistic opportunities of 3D printing, Francis Bitonti states;

“Every tool has limits. This has fewer limits than any other tool I’ve ever used.” — Francis Bitonti (Markbot, 2014)

Written by Alice Pearce

Edited by Christina Wright


Dezeen Magazine (2014) Noa Raviv combines grid patterns and 3D printing for Hard Copy fashion collection. Available at: (Accessed 7 March 2016)

Francis Bitonti (2014) Studio Works: Molecule Shoes. Available at: (Accessed: 6 March 2016)

Hausie (2016) Designers: Paolin. Available at: (Accessed 8 March 2016)

Iris van Herpen (2013) Voltage Haute Couture. Available at: (Accessed: 4 March 2016)