Integration of 3 Dimensional Modeling and Printing into Fashion Design Curriculum: Opportunities and Challenges.

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Eckerson, Nicole
Zhao, Li
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International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) Annual Conference Proceedings
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

The first national meeting of textile and clothing professors took place in Madison, Wisconsin in June 1959. With a mission to advance excellence in education, scholarship and innovation, and their global applications, the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) is a professional and educational association of scholars, educators, and students in the textile, apparel, and merchandising disciplines in higher education.

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With the emergence and application of 3D printing (3DP) technologies, many industries are faced with the challenge of seeking the most talented designers transitioning from traditional design approaches (Kwon, Y. M., Lee, Y. A., & K, S. J., 2017). The aim of this study looks to engage in a dialogue about 3DP integration in fashion design curriculum between industry and academic professionals enabling an efficient exchange of information. The focus of this research is to identify the value of 3D modeling and printing, best practices for integration, and the barriers for adoption. To achieve this research goal, a qualitative research design was employed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 3DP industry and academic professionals. The focus of the interviews examined their knowledge and application of 3DP technology for the purpose of integrating into design curriculum. Three major themes emerged from interview data: Utilization of 3DP technology has significant added value; has become an efficient method for production, workflow, and exchange of information; and provides the ability for customization and limitless design possibilities. Fashion design programs are encouraged to review their curriculum for opportunities of 3DP integration within existing classes or interdisciplinary collaboration. This research will educate, equip and prepare educators and students for emerging technologies in fashion.

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