When 3D printing was first shown off at CES, booths were filled with hundreds of bright plastic trinkets that all started to look the same. Now, 3D-printing companies are starting to experiment with different materials, taking the format way beyond fluoroplastic and giving show visitors an insight into the full potential of the technology.
Sometimes CES is all about showing off your proof of concept, whether it's wearable or not. 3D-printing supply company Windform has gone down the latter path with this space-age helmet that is perfect for the trend-setter in you.
3D Systems, a 3D-printing company, paired up with fashion label United Nude to create the Ice shoe, an 8-inch high heel designed to look like an ice block. The company also showed off its Float shoes (right), which don't feature any heel at all.
This winning design from "Project Runway" Season 14 contestant Kelly Demsey uses 3D-printed parts alongside fabric. Inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge, the dress features small printed bricks that are integrated into the waistband.
3D Systems' Fabricate app lets designers print plastic shapes directly onto fabric. The company's Cube desktop printer lays out a thin layer of 3D-printed material, then mesh fabric is sandwiched in the middle before the final layers are printed on top. The result is a flexible 3D texture that can be integrated into clothing.
With the kind of personalised production that 3D printing offers, changing glasses is no longer an issue. Just 3D-scan your face, work out which frames look best on screen and then print them out ready to wear.
While there have been plenty of outfits printed entirely out of polymer, fashionistas of the future are more likely to have clothes with 3D-printed elements integrated into the outfit. Sculpteo created these designs by stitching 3D-printed parts onto regular clothing, and has used flexible plastic to make more comfortable designs.
While CES has plenty of fully-featured smartwatches and fitness trackers, many of them are yet to be given the kind of design treatment that Swarovski has given its range. On the flip side, plenty of the designer wearables also have more limited feature sets. If you're buying a wearable, there's still a question of prioritising form or function.