Aug 12, 2016 | By Tess

In the world of startups, it is inevitable that some will rise to the top while others flounder and fail. Sadly, today we are reporting on one of the latter as Electroloom, the startup that developed the world’s first 3D fabric printer, has announced it will be closing its doors. After experiencing a promising start over 2014 and 2015, with a successful Kickstarter campaign and a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Electroloom faced a number of financial issues which ultimately proved insurmountable, hence why they are shutting their research and business down.

The startups founders made the announcement two days ago through a blog post explaining, “We suffered a lot of problems and mistakes that led us here, perhaps too many to outline in detail. The reality is that a lot of events factored into our inability to raise: slow technical progress, significant scientific risk, a lack of an MVP, and a poorly defined market opportunity.”

That they have to close their doors is unfortunate considering the company’s unique product, which used electrospinning technology to essentially 3D print clothing garments. In other words, the machine could transform a simple CAD file into a seamless fabric item on demand, making such garments as shirts and socks, for instance. Earlier this year, the company even introduced its Electroloom Mini which was reportedly capable of printing small pieces of colored polyester fabric (like a child’s sock) in 20 minutes or less.

Despite their new product and their best efforts, Electroloom was unable to raise the funding necessary to continue its innovative research and support the company. According to Electroloom’s blog post, however, its founders are still grateful for the experience they had with the company, which opened their eyes to the new possibilities arising within the garment and textiles industries.

As they say, “One thing that stands out as obvious from our experience running Electroloom is that people are hungry for and believe in dramatic changes for the apparel industry. Whether it is to help people express themselves creatively through new and powerful design tools, or to help implement more sustainable manufacturing methods, we have seen the emergence of a new segment of people who care about the future of textiles and clothing. We feel quite fortunate to have played a role in this global conversation.”

Indeed, Electroloom was just one of a number of new companies dedicated to the rethinking of garment and textile manufacturing. And while they won’t be continuing their work, other companies like Kniterate, which is developing a 3D printer for knitwear, and London-based Unmade, which is also combining additive manufacturing technologies with garment making, are continuing to explore and advance the field. So, while we are sad to say goodbye to Electroloom, there is little doubt that the tech garment industry is still going strong.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Company

 

 

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