University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


The fashion industry encounters its most general difficulties regarding cost of samples, lead time, sustainability, and fit. An emerging technology that could solve these issues is 3-D printing, which utilizes computer-aided technology and a variety of filaments to construct an object. Though 3-D printing technology offers the ability for rapid prototyping, a condensed supply chain by way of creating samples domestically rather than internationally, and a sustainable additive manufacturing process that results in manufacturing with zero excess material, there is question as to whether consumers are ready for 3-D printed clothing to enter their wardrobes. The purpose of this study was to construct a 3-D-printed garment and measure consumer response to the application of this technology to ready-to-wear clothing. Wearability was achieved with the 3-D-printed garment, meaning it mirrors a traditional ready-to-wear garment. The survey instrument measured three factors: perception of 3-D printing, fashion interest, and opinions of the 3-D-printed project garment. Data were analyzed using a t-test for male versus female responses and descriptive statistical methods were utilized to report means and compare responses on the three factors from each age group and ethnicity. Overall the responses for all three factors were positive. The results of this research indicate that a major transformation in ready-to-wear style is feasible and beneficial to the apparel industry because of 3-D printing.