3D Printing: Is the Law Prepared for the Future of Fashion?
By Arielle Padover Commonplace three-dimensional (3D) printing may seem far off; however, it seems to be arriving quicker than some might have anticipated, particularly in the fashion industry. According to David Sheffler, a researcher and lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, “3D printing is where PCs were in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.” In fashion specifically, Joris Debo, the creative director of Materialise, notes that while it is “a slow process of adoption,” 3D printing in fashion has changed “quite rapidly” in the past few years. While we probably have quite a while before people can say “I’ll be ready as soon as I print my shoes,” it is extremely important that lawmakers proactively address the legal issues that will inevitably arise due an increase in 3D printing. 3D printing allows people to turn a digital file into a three-dimensional object by successively layering material until the object is formed. 3D printing has been gradually making its way into the mainstream, with companies like UPS and Staples offering 3D printing services. It will likely continue to become an even more familiar process as 3D printers become increasingly more affordable and, therefore, more accessible [read more]