Thursday, April 3, 2014

Will 3D Printing Usurp the Human Hands of Time?



It's ironic that on the last day of Baselworld 2014, I find in my inbox a shared post from Sandra Ley ("Sley"), the author/moderator of a blog for the Fashion, Textile & Costume Librarians Special Interest Group of ARLIS/NA. Her pass-through post may describe one of the most disruptive technologies for the watch manufacturing industry in the first half of the 21st Century akin to the quartz movement revolution in the last half of the last century.



Written by Rebecca Hiscott, it gives us a preview of the way the 3D (i.e. additive manufacturing process) can be used to design and produce fashionable items, clothing and accessories. It also includes a terrific video illustrating the process for creating a designer gown. 

Chanel is mentioned throughout as an example of a targeted luxury line that could face even more legal challenges as a copyright holder  if 3D product source codes are developed outside of its auspices and become freely exchanged and executed.

I did discover one example from last year of a high-end watchmaker, Hoptroff London that used 3D printing to produce an 18 carat gold watch case intended for commercial purposes!

I’d love to get your reaction to this technology and its impact on horology.