When model and multimedia artist Miranda Marquez realized people were manufacturing their own wearable items at home using ordinary desktop 3D printers, she had a lightbulb moment. What if we could dramatically cut down on waste related to the fashion industry by creating our own clothes — no sewing required — through freely shared downloadable 3D printing files?

Forward-thinking 3D printed face mask, available for free download as part of artist Miranda Marquez'

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Like many of us, the Barcelona-based artist found some extra time on her hands due to the pandemic and wanted to create something to help people collectively flourish and grow even in difficult situations. Thus, “The Resilence Project” was born.

The Resilience Project is an optimistic and artistic approach to the current pandemic situation. Showcasing our capacity to build strength in this difficult situation allows us to bloom and reimagine the world from scratch,” says Marquez. “This new recovery has to be a collective one in which all elements of creation are accessible to everyone. We propose 3D printing as a democratic transmission media of art and fashion. Introducing two downloadable, sharable, and printable pieces that anyone can self-produce anywhere around our globe.”

Close-up view of the plastic-based material used to 3D print garments from the Resilience Project.

The files are designed for FDM (fused deposition modeling) 3D printers, which deposit strands of plastic filament in layers to create an object. The filament is fed through a hot extruder to make it delicate enough for fine details. These days, you can find this type of 3D printer online for as little as $200, though you get better-looking results from more sophisticated models.

The Resilience Project features two downloadable and printable pieces: a cropped, flower-bedecked tank top and a face mask. Offered via Creative Commons license, which makes them freely shareable, the files can be downloaded at no cost from Thingiverse. Marquez enlisted the help of CGI digital artists to design the garments, which can be assembled easily as they come out of the printing bed. The files even include instructions for customizing the pieces to your size and printing them with a net-like texture that will be extra-pleasant against the skin.

Fun 3D printed floral crop top, available for free download as part of artist Miranda Marquez'

Fun 3D printed floral crop top, available for free download as part of artist Miranda Marquez'

She adds that “we can innovate applying 3D printing technologies to produce fashion, but if we distribute it the old way, are we really changing the game? That’s why we want you to have the chance to download and create the garments in her desktop 3d printer. We truly believe that the experience of creating your own garment will change your emotional link with the garment and, in the last instance, your way of consuming fashion. This is a really experimental approach to fashion and we have a lot to learn about, starting with your opinion.”

Forward-thinking 3D printed face garments available for free download as part of artist Miranda Marquez'

The Resilience Project represents a whole new world of emerging fashion technology that traditional manufacturers are going to have to keep up with. As 3D printers become less of a curiosity and more of a household essential, consumers will have more power to produce their own goods, reducing their dependency on the marketplace. Plastic filament can be melted and reused at home, making it easier to recycle the things we create, too. If it’s adopted on a wide scale, it could be a game changer — not just for fashion, but for consumerism at large.