Jan.20, 2014

3D printed clothing and accessories have been primarily objects of art, self expression, and novelty. The Parametric Sculpture Dress worn by Lady Gaga or the exquisite designs of Iris van Herpen explore the boundaries of technology and imagination in fashion.

Meanwhile, another trend toward comfort and wearability may be developing in 3D printed clothing applications. Electroloom is a company founded by entrepreneur Aaron Rowley which aims to create comfortable, customized, on-demand apparel. Electroloom is also the name of the company's in-development 3D printer for clothing which is capable of creating nonwoven fabrics on unique and complex structures.

The Electroloom team was the recipient of Alternative Apparel's Grant for Sustainability in Design & Technology, a design competition hosted in San Francisco, California during December 2013. The team was awarded $1000 for prototyping, a year long membership to TechShop San Francisco, and a design mentorship.

Alternative Apparel, which awarded Rowley the grant, is an Atlanta-based fashion and lifestyle company which makes comfortable clothing made from organic cottons and recycled fibers. This is the second year that Alternative Apparel has awarded such a grant to an up-and-coming entrepreneur.

The grant will allow them to pursue the development of fibers that more closely resemble cotton, as well as more complicated shapes such as T-shirts. Electroloom is focused on sustainable production, and this is one of the qualities which set it apart from competitors. The Electroom leverages medical research technology to create on-demand articles of clothing via a desktop 3D printer. It is designed to be open source in that anyone can produce the shape or geometry on which fibers will collect.

In the future, Rowley envisions an online database with crowdsourced designs – much like Shapeway's online emporium of designs – where basic templates would be provided for all types of users. Electroloom and the grant provided by Alternative Apparel may bring us one step closer actualizing concepts of the future such as those of Joshua Harris in which customized clothing and household objects are mainstream.

Watch the video below that Electroloom shows the web-like structure of the material.

Source: fast.co.design


Posted in 3D Printers



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