Date of Graduation

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Apparel Merchandising and Product Development

Advisor

Hubert, Stephanie K.

Reader

Smith, Kathleen R.

Second Reader

Balasubramanian, Mahendran

Third Reader

Cheramie, Lance M.

Fourth Reader

Apple, Laurie M.

Abstract

Abstract

With the ever-evolving state of today’s technology, designers and retailers in the apparel industry are seeking out new technological methods that have the capacity to revolutionize and individualize their brand, as well as meet consumer needs and preferences. An emerging technology is 3D printing, which utilizes computer-aided technology and a variety of filaments to construct an object. Though 3D printing technology offers the ability for rapid prototyping, a condensed supply chain, and a sustainable additive manufacturing process, there is question as to whether or not consumers are ready for 3D printed clothing to enter their wardrobes. In this creative study, the authors designed a 3D printed garment in order to test whether 3D printers could be used to make wearable clothing of similar characteristics to clothing typically made of fabric. A survey was then conducted on the University of Arkansas campus to measure consumer response to the project garment. Three primary factors were measured: prior exposure and interest in 3D printing, general fashion interest, and aesthetic appeal of the project 3D printed garment. Overall perceptions of the project garment as well as further use of 3D printing for the apparel industry were positive. The ability of this study to create a fully 3D printed garment as well as understand consumer response to 3D printed clothing provides insight into this emerging technology. The results warrant further research into its capabilities for fashion and that the fashion industry could move towards adopting this technology on a wider scale in coming years. The results indicate that a major transformation in ready-to-wear style is feasible and beneficial to the apparel industry because of 3D printing.

Keywords: 3D printing, fashion, consumer preference, sustainability, apparel, technology

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