Aug 31, 2016 | By Tess

Tailors Mark co-founders Rob Fisher and Dave McLaughlin

For those sceptical about whether 3D printed clothes and textiles will revolutionize the garment industry in the near future, there is still no doubting that new technologies like 3D printing can and are having an impact on even traditional garment manufacturing processes. As a number of companies and forward thinking brands have demonstrated, 3D technologies have opened up a number of possibilities such as custom fits and styles. Recently, Melbourne, Australia-based suit maker Tailors Mark announced that it too would be adopting 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies into its practice in order to offer clients a more personalized suit shopping experience.

The brand, which already has over 17,000 customers around the world, is known for its custom tailored suits and shirts. Of course, to order one of their renowned bespoke suits, clients traditionally would have to either show up in person for their measurements or rely on the brand’s sophisticated analytics. Now, however, Tailors Mark is hoping to make this process more advanced and easier than ever thanks to their very own 3D scanning and 3D printing process.

Essentially, with Tailors Mark’s new system you’ll soon be able to conduct a 3D body scan of yourself using your smartphone and the brand’s 3D scanning technology (they have filed eight patents for their scanning technology so far). The 3D scanning data will then be sent directly to the suit factory, where a number of 3D printers will get to work additively manufacturing a full-scale replica of the client’s torso. This torso model, which takes into account such features as bellies and posture, will then be used to properly tailor the suit to the person’s exact measurements and proportions.

To create the torso models, Tailors Mark plans to use a bank of 4 and 5-meter high 3D printers, which will turn out torsos made from a reusable and lightweight plastic filament. As co-founder Rob Fisher explains, “We’re able to print a full-body torso to within a couple of millimetres in two hours.” Once the fitting is done and the garment is made, the torso can then be crushed down and re-fed into the 3D printer to make more.

At the moment, the suit maker is testing its new system at its inner-city office in Prahran, Melbourne. Once the R&D stage is finalized, however, it plans to ship the 3D printing equipment to Bangkok, where most of the brand’s garments are made by a minority shareholder business. The facility in question reportedly makes between 12,000 and 13,000 garments for Tailors Mark clients per year, most of who are in Europe.

According to Tailors Mark, with their new technology they are hoping to cut back on the amount of alterations that need to be done on suits (something which is necessary for nearly 50% of suit purchases), and cut their return rates from 10 percent down to about 0 percent.

In addition to their soon-to-be introduced 3D scanning and printing system, Tailors Mark is also planning to get a medium-term listing on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). According to Fisher, the company intends to raise capital over the next few months to further expand and hopefully get listed. “That’s well and truly on the cards for the company in 18 to 24 months,” he said.

Notably, Tailors Mark has another branch of its business called Tec-fit, which is exploring various commercial applications for body-scanning and 3D printing technologies. This research is being conducted in partnership with Sydney University and the University of Technology Sydney.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Joe D wrote at 9/8/2016 4:07:27 PM:

There has been software that can drape cloth over a virtual model for a number of years. But, even if that software is 100% accurate, I suspect that it just is not good enough for the art of tailoring. There is something special about working in the real world, that virtual models are still far from being able to recreate.

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