It makes sense to 3D-print some things. Parts for a space station, for example, or children's toys. You wouldn't really think that clothing would make that list. But that's where you'd be oh so wrong.
The garment you can see above is a 3D-printed dress, made by design studio Nervous System. Although it's not the first 3D-printed dress (that honour goes to a burlesque star), it's one of the first to be made on Nervous System's Kinematics system, software which can create complex structures composed of articulated modules. What that means is a 3D-printed dress that requires no assembly: take the pile of plastic out of the printer, wash it off, unfurl it, and you've got a dress. Of sorts.
This particular dress, and the software behind it, has been acquired by New York's Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) for their permanent collection. Although it's interesting as a piece of high-fashion concept, and will doubtless have textiles students in a hot mess discussing its application to the world of clothing, the technology also has more concrete applications. The ability to 3D-print a complex, multi-part object which doesn't require assembly could be huge for the fabricating industry.
If you forget that the dress is just a dress, but rather remember that it's a complex object made up of thousands of individual pieces, pre-assembled, it's suddenly a lot more impressive. And, probably, chafes a little less. [Nervous System]