The ability to create customized objects, such as 3D printing, is increasing in sophistication and marketability. People are becoming more and more aware and comfortable with the concept of printing objects for immediate use.
What if you can use a 3D printer to make your own clothes on demand?
To print a piece of clothing, you would first shop from an online marketplace of designs and download the outfit of your selection. In addition you need to buy a cartridge of thread, from a company or a designer. Then you can just print it out on your own 3D printer. The most interesting feature is, when you want something new, you just feed the clothes back into the machine. Clothing can be loaded back where it is broken down into thread and cleaned. The thread is returned to its cartridge for future use, cutting out the whole shipping and distributing costs and waste.
The concept would eliminate the need for closets, washing machines and dryers, thus saving space in the crowded urban environments of the future.
This connected, in-home clothing making device opens up new opportunities for the clothing industry. Fashion designers in the future can either sell cartridges of material or sell their designs digitally.
(Images credit: Joshua Harris)
"The technology for a clothing printer exists but is not packaged in a form that would be suitable for consumer use. With the future potential of printing technology, an at-home clothing printer is a definite possibility. Our challenge was to define the experience." - Joshua Harris
What are your thoughts about this concept?
Posted in 3D Printing Technology
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Daria Dorosh wrote at 7/7/2015 4:07:11 PM:
Hi Joshua, I believe in your concept, and actually wrote a similar scenario for the future of fashion in my Ph.D in 2007. I have taught fashion design for 40 years and see the same trend evolving. But you might benefit from talking to a fashion theorist (like me) to see what this needs to go forward, or why it isn't quite ready yet. If you are still checking this site, I would love to know what has happened to the concept since 2013.
phung wrote at 5/5/2015 11:10:14 AM:
Omar K wrote at 3/1/2015 6:11:43 PM:
As for physically recycling threads I don't think there's any violation of the laws of physics therefore such an event is quite probable in the future. But just because you can do these things doesn't mean you will. Remember those breadmakers where we'd race to grocery store to buy $5-10 worth of ingredients and follow instructions to make bread overnight. Today we know better we just get the loaf directly from the store for less than $3. All this means the world will have more choices and diversity (always seems to be king in nature).
Mary Pat wrote at 1/24/2015 9:48:42 PM:
I see this in stores -- fulfilling the needs of the consumer who does not see the style or size of a garment on the rack she wants... and the store can print EXACTLY what the consumer wants right there. I do not see this in the consumer's home. Just like I don't see the predicted hoverboard outside now in 2015. Or the other things that were predicted during the NYC World's Fair in the 1960s.
J wrote at 7/30/2014 4:29:05 AM:
It is so scary how many people here actually fear this, to the point of trying to make a mockery of it. This will work, it will change the clothes we wear and massive industries. A shared community printer is at first a good idea though if one company owns all those printers and has a monopoly on 'everything' it could be nasty.
Feloneous "Cut Once, Measure, Cut Again" Cat wrote at 2/10/2014 1:34:38 AM:
Pretty amusing. Joshua Harris has obviously never worked with cloth. The idea of a shirt being printed from "thread" in something the size of tin can is hilarious. I'm not being negative, just being realistic. Thread is also very easily damaged - the idea that you could "break down a shirt into thread" is unrealistic (well, maybe if it were kevlar). A shirt consists of many pieces - each which is cut. How one manages to "uncut" the thread I guess is left to the imagination? It is amusing, but at the moment, seriously unrealistic. I suggest Joshua learn to sew and see how much volume a bolt of cotton takes. Before you "design" something it is always best to have some basics - like how it is currently done.
Eduardo Costa wrote at 4/18/2013 7:31:03 PM:
I thank you all writers above. I had a lot of fun reading their comments. The 3D printer clothes, the idea came up and from it the source to evolve by breaking paradigmas. It is the way mankind moves forward.
jjunju wrote at 3/18/2013 4:32:31 PM:
Is breaking a worn garment doen harder than cloning. mobile telephoney or going to the moon?
Moses Nawabi wrote at 3/17/2013 6:17:05 AM:
Of course this will work. But 2050? By then were already printing airplanes. We should be doing this in 2018 already. How can people here be so negative? I've already seen a car being 3d printed. Of course we can print something as simple as clothing. No matter how complicated the stitches or anything is!
Debra wrote at 3/16/2013 4:08:05 PM:
Futuristic.........I say if you can Imagine it what is to stop it from being a Reality.........Nothing is Impossible.
Brad Arnold wrote at 3/16/2013 3:08:24 PM:
Why did you pull the number 2050 out of your b^tt? By then the technology will be widespread on Mars.
Joey1058 wrote at 3/16/2013 11:38:34 AM:
For people living in micro apartments, there could be a printer in a community room for everyone's use.
cee wrote at 3/16/2013 10:16:32 AM:
Printing out clothing great, having the option to design your own styles better. Have a recycle machine deal with returned products plus other household items and leave the printer to create. As I was introduced to this via The Venus Project, Money wouldn't be an option so development on the idea would far outweigh anything at no cost.
kat wrote at 3/16/2013 9:17:28 AM:
this better be legit
Loy wrote at 3/16/2013 7:12:13 AM:
This would be nice. Make this guys. The hell with owning! open source everything.
MARIANA M wrote at 3/16/2013 6:46:37 AM:
WE NEED MORE DEMO
mike wrote at 3/16/2013 6:23:59 AM:
it would be a big waste of resources if everyone should own something they would use as little as that. generate machines that are professional, and print locally.
9rockky wrote at 3/16/2013 5:33:14 AM:
good idea but 'm also think it's impossible. How can something like wedding dress came out from that little slot..
Noah Fence wrote at 3/16/2013 4:39:11 AM:
Hey Tim... http://www.etni.org.il/quotes/predictions.htm
Noah Fence wrote at 3/16/2013 4:37:52 AM:
Looking forward to seeing Tim Biskit's quote in this list of naysayers within the next 10 years!
billy the cloth wrote at 3/16/2013 4:12:33 AM:
Amazing vision, it will happen.. apart from choosing the garment on the printer.. you dont write a word document on your canon :)
N wrote at 3/16/2013 3:59:01 AM:
I LOVE IT! Could you please send me one!
petey wrote at 3/16/2013 3:28:41 AM:
Good luck achieving many of the more difficult cuts and stitches. As far as breaking a worn garment down back into component thread being IMPOSSIBLE -- I don't think so. You could shred and then recombine the shredded mass into thread by kneading or through centrifugal force (a la cotton candy) --- the final machine will look nothing like this vain attempt however.
God wrote at 3/16/2013 3:20:13 AM:
So is the little old Chinese lady hiding behind the machine? so how do you think a machine like this might work?
Tim Biskit wrote at 3/16/2013 12:05:03 AM:
Impossible. Clothing is most likely going to be more and more customized, but breaking a worn garment back into component thread will never happen.
B.J. Murphy wrote at 3/15/2013 9:08:54 PM:
My thoughts - HELL YEAH!