3D printing has started making its way into the fashion apparel industry. A number of designers are making use of the additive manufacturing technology to produce one-off complex designs; 3D printing services dedicated to fashion and design are emerging in the market. Fashion schools are adapting their programs, incorporating laser-cutting and 3D printing. Annual hi-tech fashion weeks are popping up around the globe
Such technology refers to the layer by layer. Creation of physical objects based on digital 3D files. Which described as having the power to disrupt and transform the manufacturing system as we know it. 3D printing transforms the design and development process by expanding spheres of possibilities, enhancing design quality and limiting development costs. It also incurs great consequences for manufacturing as it reduces transaction costs, resolves the scale-scope problem and fosters zero-waste production.
In recent years, the fashion industry has shown growing interest in 3D printing technologies and its affiliated 3D designing software. Traditionally the business and engineering communities have formed the foundation for research on the issue of 3D printing. And have provided the theoretical and empirical framework through which to analyze the adoption and impacts of 3D printing on the industrial sector.
The first 3D printer was introduced in 1986 by Chuck Hall. 3D printers manufacturers have been large R & D based organizations (De Jong et al, 2012) which were able to afford high prices and required premium products. However, with the patents for these technologies beginning to expire a number of firms, most of which were start-ups began entering the market, with a concentration on the lower end of the market.
Transformative Effects of 3D printing:
3D printing also brings about many advantages in terms of manufacturing and supply chain management. It promotes customization to new design alternatives that can be created without the need for investments in setup, tooling or machine changeovers. As such, the marginal cost of reproduction is close to zero thus resolving the scale-scope dilemma imposed by traditional manufacturing technologies. Products are producing and sold efficiently in small batches (Michalik et al, 2015). As a result, 3D printing also limits concerns relative to stock. Inventories become obsolete when it becomes possible to produce according to make-to-order processes (Weller and al, 2015). Finally, 3D printing enables localized production. With 3D technologies, design and manufacturing can happen anywhere thus reducing transaction costs.
Innovation in the Creative Industries:
In order to assess the possible impact of 3D printing in terms of fashion. It is crucial to turn to the existing literature on the role of innovation in the creative industrie. as well as a past example of adoptions of digital innovations in this particular sector.
If style and continuous style change is central to the fashion industry, researchers have
pointed out the crucial role of innovation in the contemporary fashion market. They have numerous technological and digital innovations introduced in the fashion industry (Unay and Zehir, 2012). Such as; a computer-aided-design or the development of certain fabrics and fibers. These new technologies have stimulated product innovation and led to transformations in terms of speed and quality of manufacturing.
The main focus of the sample was to identify designers researching, creating or producing 3D printed garments. The population of designers making use of 3D printing for garments is extremely small. Thus, explaining the size of the available sample. Despite this, the criterion is applied in order to select a sample. All designers conducted projects where 3D printing and was used to produce wearable garments or fabrics.
Designers solely using 3D prototype technology which has excluded from the analysis. This limited the analysis to independent designers and micro fashion firms. This sample is select using the snowball sampling method whereby relationships and communication with initially targeted participants brought about contact possibilities with other potential respondents.
Reliability, Validity, and Limitations:
The methodology used in this study presents certain limitations, notably interviewing. Indeed, The use of interviews leaves room for a number of limitations notably the risk of subjectivity. The difficulty to replicate the study, the problem of generalization and the risk of lack of transparency. There’s been general uneasiness for the application reliability and validity in qualitative research. The quality of the study will be guaranteed according to the alternative indicators of quality