Soon you’ll be able to print off a new suit in time for that gala event…
Even in this age of driverless cars, wifi everywhere and the clone technology that produced One Direction, the idea of printing your clothing on demand still seems like the stuff of science fiction.
But it’ll be a reality soon, according to the boffins at the UK’s Loughborough University.
Dr Guy Bingham, senior lecturer in product and industrial design, has teamed up with Yeh Group, a global textile and garment manufacturer, to revolutionise how clothing and shoes are made.
The 3D Project envisages a world where personalised garments are made quickly and to your unique specifications. The process, they believe, could drastically reduce waste, labour costs and pollution.
“With 3D printing there is no limit to what you can build and it is this design freedom which makes the technology so exciting by bringing to life what was previously considered to be impossible,” says Bingham.
The 18-month project aims to produce 3D wearable, full size, Additive Manufacturing (AM) textile garments and footwear – with design input from a major fashion house.
“This landmark technology allows us as designers to innovate faster and create personalised, ready-to-wear fashion in a digital world with no geometrical constraints and almost zero waste material,” he says. “We envisage that with further development of the technology, we could 3D print a garment within 24 hours.”
“Printing clothes using AM will revolutionise the fashion industry worldwide by opening up digital manufacturing to the masses via online retail, bringing a much needed update to 19th century techniques and processes. This modern approach to clothing production helps meet the growing demand for personalised apparel and footwear which through 3D printing can be produced in a sustainable and ethical way.”