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Recently here at Threedeeprints, we took the liberty of interviewing an emerging fashion designer who believes that 3D printing is the future of the fashion industry itself. Wiley Watson is an Australian born, women’s fashion designer who’s talents have recently caught the eye of designers he once looked up to, with his unique, avant garde approach to life and design. Son to a graphic designer and mechanical engineer, it was almost inevitable of how his future would pan out. Although his appearance is rugged and masculine, Watson’s designs are the complete opposite. Polished, elegant and precise, his latest range of women’s shoes further prove his design abilities and suggest only growth for his brand and collaborations. Through use of geometric and monochromatic elements, his designs create intrigue and unity – pushing competitor luxury fashion brands to enhance their own design elements in order to keep up. At the young age of only 22, his career has already jumpstarted with accomplishments in Vogue, Sydney’s Fashion Weekend and more recently, New York Fashion Week where he established his name and abilities, creating partnerships and bounteous opportunities.

Here’s what he had to say.

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 8.47.35 AMSo Wiley, as an uprising designer in the fashion industry, do you believe 3D printing to be a threat to luxury fashion?

Certainly not, in fact, quite the opposite. I believe that 3D printing and luxury brands should coexist in order to further progress and grow from one another. 3D printing is slowly making its way from an application used mostly for engineering purposes, to becoming a transformative technology for design and brands of all kinds. Victorias Secret recently took it upon themselves to combine lingerie and 3D printed wings within its fashion show, an emergence of fashion and technology at its finest.

Are you hoping to combine the qualities of 3D printing with your own designs?

Well yes, i’m actually working on a winter collection currently with the main focus being 3D printed fashion items but that’s all I can tell you guys for now! I’m all for change and new technologies, especially one that has benefited people worldwide for many reasons. Some other designers in my field believe 3D printing to be a threat to the very future of luxury fashion. I, personally, can only see positive things with the convergence. Of course that is dependent on how, where and who it is used by.

We heard about your recent achievements and notability at New York fashion week, congratulations and what’s next on the agenda?

Thank you! I had the greatest time and met some incredibly influential people. Actually, New York fashion week allowed me to fall into my next project with Continuum, a San Francisco based clothing company among the first to create wearable, 3D printed pieces. I met with Mary Huang the founder and we shared very similar views on the intersection of fashion and technology. She also believes that it gives everyone access to creativity so I can only -for now- imagine what we will create together.

Do you have any designers in particular that you look up to?

I recently discovered a designer who is a part of the Alexander McQueen team in London, Natasha Fagg. She also has a love for 3D printing in the fashion industry and to me, has executed her latest line perfectly, influenced by the appearance of insects under a microscope I believe. Although it may differ to what we conventionally consider as clothing, it turns fashion into art. These designs are only achievable via 3D printing and allows the chance to relieve constraint of commercial availability.

We have seen an array of 3D printed items on the catwalk, is there one aspect of an outfit that is your favourite to design?

I have created almost all aspects of fashion, mainly focussing on women’s clothing, footwear and accessories, but my favourite is definitely high heels. Although I cannot wear them, their possibilities are endless (even more so with 3D printing) and I am forever inspired to create better, more avant garde pieces. New balance and Nike are also working on their new lines of 3D printed soles and shoes designed and created solely (pun intended) on the consumers feet. I can’t wait to see what they come up with, I think mostly because i’m doing the very opposite kind of shoe.

Do you have one aspect of 3D printing in mind that pushes you to keep creating?

Definitely customisation. It has mass appeal and marketability because everyone wants a one of a kind, perfectly made to your shape, personality and attributes piece of something! No more socially awkward outings where you and your pal arrive wearing the exact same thing or shirts that don’t go with your brand new 3D printed necklace. Although fashion and 3D printing only met a few years ago, these pioneering innovations are exciting and off to a great start. It gives you an idea of the future and it’s endless possibilities.

Where do you see the convergence of 3D printing and luxury fashion brands in the future?

3D printing is starting to make its way into our everyday lives, one way or another, and it is actually the beginning of a revolution that will transform our society in ways we probably can’t imagine. New ways of distribution, new ways of process and new entrepreneurial opportunities. Architects and scientists have been using it for decades, from 3D printed buildings to hearing aids – fashion is no exception the these revolutionary experiments. Actually, I do one day see 3D printed fashion as something that will one day be everyday wear, not just for luxury brands. It will still take some time to be affordable for everyone. For now, though, I see creations being produced that are not possible via simple fabrics and minds, but pieces that will actually bring us that next step into the future itself.

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Wiley intends to further his name in fashion and 3D printing using substantial advertisement both online, and on the runway – the same as any other big brand. The most effective utilisation of social media in the fashion industry (in order to connect with intended demographics) are Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. These contemporary platforms allow audiences to hear about and see upcoming designs, events and announcements relevant to Watson’s brand and projects and also capture a wider audience than any other platforms. Along with these social sites, a personal website is obviously a must also. All are branded to Watson’s progressive style for consistency and instant recognition of his independent designs. This online presence allows global communication and encourages conversation between said global audience where both negative and positive conversations are accepted – as not everyone agrees. This creates constructive criticism and also praise for his designs, something everybody needs to progress and rise in the design industry. It’s simple, if you do not listen to your audience, you will not succeed or evolve mentally. Watson prides himself on growth and breakthroughs in fashion, which he devotes completely to his fans and consumers.

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(all art, photographs and written content produced by brooke allender)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– the future

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The potential is undeniably extensive. 3D printers allow designers and engineers to imagine, computer–model and build objects within hours. They are largely used in manufacturing but so far, have been confined and restricted to particular processes. Where will this technology be in only a few years?

As operations of this technology expand and prices reduce, the first significant implication is that more produce will be manufactured close to their place of purchase / consumption. In some cases, household production of some things. Many things that once relied on the scale efficiencies of large, centralised plants will soon be composed locally. The elimination of shipping prices means that the higher per-unit production cost becomes irrelevant.

An intriguing post on the HBR blog network attempted to anticipate the future and its effect on the market. Based on research by Ed Bernstein and Ted Farrington from the Industrial Research Institute, the authors were able to forecast that the merge of 3D printing and manufacturing may result with two models. One for the low-end buyer where manufacturing configurations focus on accelerated iteration at local manufacturing cores, and one for the higher end market where research organisations contribute product ideas and social capital to small businesses and local manufacturers. Eventually, enthusiasts claim it will revolutionise every supply chain and consumers will use 3D printed objects on a daily basis.

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The most stable signal of 3D printing having a major role to play in the future of manufacturing comes from the classroom. One in five machines are sold to colleges and universities – yeah woo Billy Blue. The next generation of engineers, designers of all sorts and surgeons, are already preparing themselves. Conventional manufacturing requires high levels of capital investment and large volume productions. By significantly reducing capital outlay, costs and commercial risks, 3D printing will make it more straightforward for anyone to test their ideas. “3D printing is providing a platform for collaboration that is accelerating innovation and disruption of the material world, just as the internet fostered collaboration, innovation and disruption in the digital world” – the consultancy firm CSC.

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As 3D print technology continues to develop and become cost effective, it is inevitable that it should converge with other ever-developing manufacturers. It will have the potential to change the luxury fashion market as we know it, dependant on how, where and who it is used by. Disruptive technologies like 3D printing will enable luxury products to be configured and customised for each consumer. So, the question is, will 3D printing pose a threat to luxury brands or will the convergence mould the very future of it?

By making ‘manufacturing on demand’ a practical possibility, the uptake of 3D printing could reconstruct the global manufacturing and business landscape. It can reduce the need to carry inventory, and eliminate warehousing and transport expenditure, and reducing the carbon footprint of manufacturing. 3D printing is almost certainly going to play a part in all of our lives, where do you think it will take us?

 

Here’s just a little something to intrigue and inform /

For the first time ever, scientists have found a way to make multiple cardiac measurements simultaneously across the entire surface of a beating heart. Drawing from medical imaging scans, a team led by John Rogers, used a 3D printer to create an anatomically accurate reproduction of a rabbit heart. Once they had the heart template, they embedded tiny instruments in a silicon membrane designed to fit snugly over the heart. The components include sensors that measure pH and temperature, along with LEDs for mapping and gold electrodes to stimulate the heart. The end result: a form-fitting silicon sheath that keeps sensors in place, yet remains flexible enough to not interfere with cardiac pumping.

 

 

bibliography / with thanks to

image references:

hero image: http://cdn.zmescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/3d-printing-project.jpeg

second image: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/304344887289332521/

third image: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/86623992804896286/

information references:

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/new-membrane-keeps-your-heart-beating submitted by Janet Fang, 3rd of March, 2014.

http://www.idigitaltimes.com/articles/21933/20140217/3d-printshow-new-york-live-catwalk-show.htm submitted by Melanie Ehrenkranz, 17th of February, 2014.

http://hbr.org/2013/03/3-d-printing-will-change-the-world/ar/1 submitted by Richard A. D’Aveni, 2012.

http://www.explainingthefuture.com/3dprinting.html submitted 10th of November, 2013.

http://www.3dfuture.com.au/ submitted by Andy, 25th of June, 2013.

http://www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine/en/2013/02/article_0004.html submitted by Catherine Jewell, April 2013.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rakeshsharma/2014/01/15/1255/ submitted by Rakesh Sharma, 15th of January, 2014.

 

 

– the digital divide

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By now (especially if you’re currently reading my blog) most of us have already heard of, seen or touched 3D printing but what about the theory of digital divide it holds? This socially transformative technology’s presence and abilities bring fear, joy and uncertainty of it’s own future.

One of those uncertainties being, the domestic use of 3D printers. Pro – they may eventually provide people with cheap access to endless necessities from home and allow individuals to produce anything they desire. Con – shortly after these printers became a known object, blueprints of guns were spread on the internet. Without any great skills or effort, people were easily printing weapons within their own homes. Each capability offers the potential to disrupt entire global supple chains.

The concept of 3D printing has been around since as far back as 1860 but has still not reached it’s full potential, it is at a stage now where it could be advanced or abandoned. Because of it’s promising features and insane capabilities, countries like America have put large amounts of funding into it’s development. Capitalism.

But top-class technology does not have to be expensive. A team of researchers from the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy, demonstrate this by developing replicas of 3D printers, amongst other technologies. These low cost replicas offered a chance to study and communicate to people in developing countries. Though in more recent years, the average cost of a 3D printer (for both use in the industry and at a residential scale) has diminished enough for people to feel a little more justified towards it’s potential.

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The environmental implications are another thing to be considered. Mass manufacturing is what today’s consumer economy is based on, but in terms of energy and resource and energy consumption, it’s efficiency of produce does not justify the amount of waste it creates, on top of shipping, packaging and marketing. Then there’s 3D printing, becoming so cheap that very soon the whole manufacturing industry is in threat – it’s reach is almost universal. It has allowed tools to be printed on demand, onboard spaceships. Then there’s printing prosthetic body parts, dental pieces, living tissue organs and food – another level of breakthrough completely. Shipping and selling becomes irrelevant when you can print anything you like in your living room.

This potentially socially transformative technology is literally starting the reshape the global economy. It is probable that every time a 3D printer is sold, people are losing their jobs. It is arguable that 3D printing holds great socioeconomic implications, but also that more sustained attention should be paid to the ways in which 3D printing is entering our creative world.

From a technologically determinist point of view, the idea and logic of 3D printing is that we end global distribution of physical goods and instead manufacture and distribute -closely- raw materials and intermediate goods. Though, managing quality control in highly distributed environment may be a bigger issue than we first predict. Then there’s the taxes.

The German philosopher Martin Heidegger stressed that “humanity is not in charge of technology, technology shapes humanity through forming our world view. The essence of technology is to enflame the world and to make it quantifiable, rationalised and destructively instrumental”.  These words and thoughts have had such a huge impact on the philosophy behind technology – technological determinism has remained.

There’s no doubt that 3D printing is a revolution in itself. The initial idea of digital divide around this technology is slowly disappearing, but it’s potential always rising. Heidegger’s theory is proving itself every day.

 

 

bibliography / with thanks to –

information references:

http://www.netopia.eu/2013/11/08/the-philosophy-of-3d-printing/  submitted by Waldemar Ingdahl, 8th of November, 2013.

http://www.bcs.org/content/conBlogPost/2024  submitted 30th of March, 2012.

http://www.scidev.net/global/digital-divide/multimedia/building-low-cost-tools-to-bridge-the-digital-divide.html submitted by Giovanni Ortolani, 20th of January, 2014.

http://pulsosocial.com/en/2013/12/21/3d-printing-third-industrial-revolution/ submitted by Andres Bienzobas, 21st of December, 2013.

http://www.forumforthefuture.org/greenfutures/articles/will-3d-printers-see-end-consumerism submitted by anonymous, 17th of January, 2012.

image references:

image one: http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/4667592-3×2-940×627.jpg

image two: http://s3files.core77.com/blog/images/2012/11/makerbot-3d-photo-booth-01.jpg

video reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChKwIUhx_ic submitted Jun 28, 2011.

 

– the evolution

The process of making a three dimensional, solid object from simply a digital model and is a category of rapid prototyping technology – 3D printing. To perform the print, the machine starts with reading a design from 3D printable file and lays down numerous layers of liquid, powder, paper or sheet material (depending on the desired object) to build a model from a series of cross sections.

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3D printing, otherwise known as additive manufacturing, stands to completely transform the way we create, replace and move products. 3D printers are generally faster and more affordable than other additive fabrication technologies, but are still too slow for mass manufactured production. It has the power to disrupt almost every major commercial industry.

Hideo Kodama of Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute was the first accounted evidence of a printed, solid model in 1982. The very first working 3D printer was created by Chuck Hull in 1984 though it was not until the early 2010’s, that these printers became widely available. In earlier days, 3D printing was considered very expensive, therefore not an ideal for the general public’s market. More recently, costs have drastically dropped, resulting in large growth of sales. Today, 3D printers can be developed and purchased for under $500, when just three years ago they were being sold for $20,000. This decrease has allowed the average consumer to purchase such machinery and fabricate items that would otherwise be conventionally produced in specialised factories.

This technology is used both for prototyping and distributed manufacturing, allowing happenings never thought possible. It’s use benefits an abundance of varied fields including architecture, engineering, aerospace, military, engineering, dental and medical industries, biotech (the replacing of human tissue), fashion, footwear, jewellery, food and so many more.

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The 3D printer’s concept could be summed up by previous printing methods and technologies qualities. The Dot Matrix printer is a type of computer printer with a print head that runs back and forth on a page, printing by impact. Each dot is produced by a tiny metal rod (pin) which is driven through directly or through small levels. Similarly, 3D printers require mechanical movement both in the print head and the base to perform their printing jobs. This robotic action happens after the technology has received it’s information from a computer program and therefore creates only the most exact of printing productions.

Colour printing is the reproduction of an image or text in colours conjured up by the additive combination of any two primary colours. This printing method today is seen as one of the most basic, although an incredible discovery in it’s time, it’s existence benefits almost everyone and anyone but is often overlooked. Digital printing furthers the idea of colour printing but with more advanced technology and furthering the possibilities e.g. available to print on more surfaces and the quality of the print. 3D printing and it’s aim are very similar to general colour and digital printing, disregarding one dimension. They are both excellent examples of rapid prototyping and both -now- more affordable for the general public.

3D printing has already stunned the world with it’s abilities. It has benefited work places, peoples health and the efficiency of other technologies, but has also put lives and industries in danger. So with both pros and cons, where will this technology take us?

 

Bibliography / With thanks to

Information websites –

http://buildatron.com/history-of-3d-printing
submitted September 9th, 2011.

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/3d-printing-10-factors-still-holding-it-back/
submitted by Lyndsey Gilpin, February 19th, 2014.

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/3-d-printing1.htm
submitted by Stephanie Crawford, August 6th, 2011.

Hero image:
http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/04/how-3d-printing-gave-this-man-his-life-and-face-back/
submitted by Ashley Feinberg, 2nd of April, 2013.

Image one:
http://www.selmor.com.au/3d-printing-and-point-of-sale/
submitted by The Selmor Team, 2011.

Image two:
http://www.3dfuture.com.au/2012/10/new-tool-gives-structural-strength-to-3d-printed-works/
submitted by Andy, 28th of October, 2012.

Video credit –
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aghzpO_UZE
submitted by Syed Abrar, 9th of September, 2011.