The application of 3D printing technology in the fashion industry

Alyson Vanderploeg, Seung Eun Lee, Michael Mamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


The use of 3D printing (3DP) is increasing in a number of industries, including the fashion industry. It poses a number of advantages compared to traditional manufacturing processes, including an accelerated design process, less-production time, and lower costs related to inventory, warehousing, packaging, and transportation. This paper discusses the five types of 3DP methods that exhibit great potential in an application of fashion, including stereolithography, selective laser sintering, fused deposition modelling, PolyJet, and binder jetting. Examples of each 3DP method as it is used in the industry are provided. In addition, advantages and disadvantages are discussed for each 3DP method and specific printers. As the use of 3DP in the fashion industry is an emerging topic for discussion, this paper will provide a new guideline for designers about the uses, benefits, and challenges of 3DP in regards to the design process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-179
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 4 2017


  • 3D printing
  • design
  • fashion


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