Jan 20, 2016 | By Alec

How often does it happen that you’re planning to hit the gym after work, but forget to bring your gym clothes in the morning rush to get to work? Well, in the near future that might not be a problem anymore. Eric Beaudette, a senior from Cornell University has come up with a very interesting men’s clothing line that revolves around the notion of convertibility. Just about all parts of the shirts and sweaters, from sleeves, hoods, pockets to collars, can be removed or added to any of the collection’s outfits, making truly convertible, multi-purpose clothes a possibility. What’s more, all the clothes are 3D printed from recycled materials, and can thus truly revolutionize the clothing manufacturing process.

The line is called “Recycl3-D” and has been developed in Cornell’s Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design (FSAD). The project has been ongoing since April 2015, with the support from FSAD senior lecturer Anita Racine. It has already been very well received; just a week ago, Beaudette was awarded one of four $30,000 Geoffrey Beene National Scholarships for his work from the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund during an event in New York. “As a graduating senior entering the workforce in a short time, winning the award reassures me that I have the skills needed to make a difference to solve real-world issues,” Beaudette said of the victory. “Receiving this award as well as interacting with industry leaders has made such a positive impact on my confidence and will help me with everything I set out to do in my life.”

And that victory seems well deserved, as Recycl3-D could be revolutionary approach to apparel design and manufacturing. To make a custom line, Beaudette scanned himself in Cornell’s own 3D body scanner, which was used to ensure a perfect fit – thus further eliminating waste. Customers could then theoretically choose everything about the clothing themselves, from colors, patterns and accessories. The result is then 3D printed from converted raw materials made from recycled apparel, packaging and other materials – depending on the choices made by the wearer. For this student project, everything was 3D printed at the Cornell campus.

Beaudette himself was especially optimistic about what 3D printing of recycled materials could do for the fashion industry. “The real perks of 3-D printing have not been used to their full potential. I brought together recycling with synthetic blends, customization from body scanning and optimization of the manufacturing process to drastically reduce production waste,” he explained. But equally fascinating is the convertible options. A number of basic shirts could be easily adjusted into anything you need. Want long sleeves, a hoody, more pockets? It’s all possible with these 3D printed attachments. This will go a long way towards further reducing apparel waste.

For the future, Beaudette therefore sees plenty of opportunities as a product developer and innovator, and is also particularly interested in how materials and wearable technologies can change outfits and interact with the human body. He previously worked on smart clothing that responds to outside interaction, such as sound. That will thus also doubtlessly work its way into these revolutionary 3D printed outfits. “Having a hybrid education between science and design allows me to investigate any one aspect of a product through two unique perspectives,” Beaudette said. “True product design, especially for apparel, has to be a perfect marriage between design and materials.”

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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