The fashion industry woke up to 3D printed clothes in 2013, when three fashion designers, collectively called threeASFOUR, launched their first collection in 3D-printed clothing at the Jewish Museum in New York. Tel Aviv-based designed Danit Peleg is also among the first wave of designers who have taken to 3D printing to create outfits. She went on to give a TED talk on it. And then in April, Adidas came up with shoes, called Futurecraft 4D, which come with 3D printed soles. The company also plans to mass produce them from next year.
The world of fashion is waking up to the potential of 3D printing. Reason why we were all the more curious to get a first-hand experience of 3D printing ourselves. To put it simply, 3D printing is where you are able to create a solid three-dimensional physical object from a digital file or design. In this technology, products are built layer by layer, adding material when needed. You can make 3D objects using materials like polymers, resin, plastic, paper, wax, sandstone, metals, ceramics and bio-minerals. Even houses and cars are also now being built using this technology.
On a lovely rainy Saturday, we walked in to Time to 3D, India’s first-of-its-kind 3D printing hub in Vile Parle in Mumbai. What followed was an hour-long session, which was so interesting and informative (without being boring), that we didn’t even realise how the time flew. Time to 3D, founded by Rahul Shah, is a partnership between Imaginarium (India’s largest 3D printing company) and the Time Media Group. It has 3D printing machines, doodle pens which will let you doodle anything of your choice and a digital scanner that scans you and sends the data so that you can get yourself printed in three dimension. Sounds incredible, doesn’t it?
We checked out some cool merchandise that were printed using the 3D tech (including guitars, headphone stands, horse stands, human skulls, real-life people—just about anything). Getting ourselves scanned and seeing our 3D form take shape on the scanner was quite an exciting moment. Another activity we really loved was the doodle pen, which we promptly used to write our name (check out the photos). If you want a 3D version of yourself, you can get your own 3D digital file or download one for free online. You can also get miniature selfies printed.
Time to 3D also offers regular workshops and courses and you need not have any prior knowledge in 3D printing. You can also host these workshops at seminars, offsite activities, kids birthdays, etc. You can also check out the doodle pens for various durations at the hub. The kid has a project to submit at school? You can also get it 3D printed here.
Their 3D printing workshop is a one-day certificate course that includes an intro to 3D printing, real-world applications, hands-on sessions, etc. It costs Rs 5,000 and can be done by students above 9th standard, engineering college students, architecture students, medical students, hobbyists, creative designers, jewelry designers, artists and others at a nominal cost of Rs 5,000. There’s also a certification course that you can go for.
So, it is #ItsTimeTo3D for you yet?