It should come as no surprise that 3D printing, which is in the throes of making DIY design easier and easier for the average non-designer, is expected to upend the fashion industry in one way or another. But out of myriad programs, printers, and 3D modelers, which are already high functioning enough to make a difference soon? Here’s are four options we like, which are usable now:
1. The 3D OpenKnit printer hasn’t gotten nearly the recognition it deserves. Technically a DIY kit, users can make their own printer, their own knit designs, and finally, of course, their own knit garments, all for about $800 in seed money for the printer. If that sounds steep, most desktop 3D printers that do little more than produce replicas of garden gnomes cost more than twice that much.
3. For budding accessories designers, unhinged manicurists, and general creators of small decorative objects, Shapeways is a working miracle. The company takes care of the printing; use their open source software to design a small item, pick your material, from flexible plastic to gold, get a quote, and get your piece.
4. Last but not least, where would all this be without a 3D modeler to use at home? We like TinkerCad, which is free to try, walks new users through a quick tutorial, and doesn’t require any downloads.