[Tech Crunch Article] If 3D printing disrupts mass fashion production, it will do so because it will have become cheaper and more efficient than current manufacturing methods. Ready-to-wear, however, with its smaller production runs, financial insecurity and impulse toward the artistic, is the ideal space for 3D printing to take root now.
The designer Kimberly Ovitz, who showed a small range of Shapeways-printed nylon jewelry with her ready-to-wear collection at New York Fashion Week in February, said that 3D printing revolutionized her production timetable. Consumers could buy the jewelry immediately after her show and receive the product in two weeks.
“I found that there are so many benefits for small designers. You don’t have to deal with minimum or volume issues. You can design as many prototypes as you want as intricately as you want, and it doesn’t affect anything the way it does with clothes.”
For small, young brands, which have a failure rate not unlike tech startups, 3D printing offers the previously unheard-of option to manufacture exactly to order. In a world where botched manufacturing runs and over-estimated interest in an item leads to unusable and unsold stock, printing minimizes risk in a way that never existed before for fashion designers.