Fashion moves forward with 3-D printing

3-D printing can be used for a lot of things, including fashion.

Gadgets and tech toys often come to mind when you hear about 3-D printing, but it’s becoming more common to include manufacturing and textiles in the conversation.

In New York City, you can already find 3-D printing being more accessible to consumers. Designer Heidi Lee’s unique headwear styles are on display in the ACE Hotel and the Normal store on West 22nd St. allows you to add your personal style to a pair of earphones for $200.

Bradley Rothenberg has been working with 3-D printing technology since studying architecture at Pratt Institute. He co-founded a company called nTopology, which focuses on the software used to create these complex designs.

“In 2009, if you mentioned 3-D printing to somebody on the street, they’d be like, what is that?” said Rothenberg. “But now, if you mention it, people know what it is.”

In 2013, Rothenberg teamed up with Victoria’s Secret, Swarovski and Shapeways to design a unique 3-D printed set of snowflake wings for its annual fashion show. And at this year’s 3D Print Design Show, him and his team showcased a strong and flexible bodysuit.

But it’s not just for the runway.

Holy Faya, a Brooklyn-based jewelry line, brings together modern technology with traditional materials. Co-founded by Nelly Zagury and Celia Elmasu, the pair held a workshop at a WantedDesign event at Industry City. They did live demos with Makerbot 3-D printers to show people how to make a bracelet made of cornstarch.

“This is just one type of 3-D printing, but there are so many out there that will allow us push boundaries of manufacturing processes and push our designs to new horizons,” said Elmasu.

While designers continue to experiment with new technology, we’ll have to wait and see what’s up next for the future of fashion.