Tired of your wardrobe? Want a new look? The airline lost your luggage and you have nothing to wear for that big meeting?
Don’t panic. Just find the nearest 3D printer and whip up a new ensemble, complete with shoes.
That’s how Danit Peleg sees the future of fashion and technology. The 27-year-old native of Holon used 3D printers to create her entire graduation project for her fashion degree at Tel Aviv’s Shenkar College of Engineering and Design.
The five outfits in the collection, including shoes, were made from a flexible polyurethane filament called FilaFlex and printed on Witbox home 3D printers.
“I’ve spent the past year searching for the best solution,” she says in a YouTube video (http://tinyurl.com/pv4vj5u).
“Just imagine the potential. If you’re cold, print your own jacket. Travelling with no luggage? Just print your clothes in the hotel room.
“Will we soon be able to design, share and print our own clothes from home?”
Peleg (www.danitpeleg.com) is not the first fashion designer to work with 3D printing. The Dutch designer Iris van Herpen has made it her signature, and both Lady Gaga and Björk have showcased her work.
But Peleg’s collection of lacy, see-through outfits is the first to be designed specifically to be produced on smaller 3D printers that can be used at home.
The cost of printing remains the biggest barrier to widespread home use. The collection took more than 2,000 hours to print – about 400 hours per outfit.
The materials for the bright red “Liberté” jacket, with a pattern of triangles inspired by Eugène Delacroix’s painting, “Liberty Leading the People,” cost only about $100.
But it took 220 hours to print, which Peleg says would cost about $900 for someone having to rent a printer. And that doesn’t include design and assembly (the clothes are printed section by section and then assembled).
However, that will change very quickly as the technology progresses and the cost of 3D printers drops.
I first heard about Peleg’s work through No Camels (www.nocamels.com), which showcases Israeli inventions and technological advances. The fashion element is fun and flashy, but the innovation angle is even more exciting.
And the Ottawa Jewish community is helping to make other breakthroughs in 3D printing possible in our partnership region of the Upper Galilee.
The experts who helped Peleg with the technological side of her project were the 3D printing lab TechFactoryPlus and the XLN community in Tel Aviv.
XLN (Cross Lab Networks) is an Israeli venture comprising centres throughout the country, where students of all ages can learn about digital fabrication technology and where entrepreneurs can become early adopters of 3D fabrication technology.
Through Partnership 2Gether (P2G), the Jewish communities of Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa and the Atlantic region have invested more than $100,000 to help the Reut Institute and Tel Hai College open an XLN Space at the Har Vagai High School on Kibbutz Dafna, near Kiryat Shmona.
The XLN Space, which opened last November, works with the new Physics and Technology Research Station to enable high school and college students to be involved in advanced scientific activities.
Students, teachers and entrepreneurs often work together. For example, six students from Eastern Galilee schools are working with industrialists to build a red, green, blue and white LED lighting system that will be used to teach Grade 9 students about photosynthesis. Several parts of the lighting system will be created on 3D printers.
Students from the Danziger High School in Kiryat Shmona designed and produced plastic rings to make it easier to carry pop and other bottles.
A student in the music program at Tel Hai designed and produced a guitar pick, while a father and son used the lab to design a protective cover for the son’s camera. They improved upon a design they found on the Internet, and designed and installed the cover within an hour.
As chair of the Ottawa P2G committee, I have met the people behind these exciting projects.
What they’re designing is less important than the fact that we’re helping develop the scientists and entrepreneurs of the future become leaders in cutting-edge technology.
We’re making this happen in a region of Israel that has struggled economically and has seen many of its residents move south to escape wars and rocket attacks.
We’re creating partnerships among communities and institutions in the Galilee Panhandle that have discovered the power of working together.
And that’s even more exciting than printing a pair of shoes.