Electroloom Promises 3D Printed Clothing by Year’s End

So, the Electroloom is still a twinkle in the eyes of its creators, but when it’s completed – supposedly by the end of the year – it’s going to be awesome! You’ll be able to assume from the title that the Electroloom is a 3D clothing printer. And it’s meant to 3D print clothing that offers comfort unseen from previous 3D-printed ensembles, like the Dita Von Teese gown.

The Electroloom prototype, designed by Aaron Rowley and his team, is so far capable of printing polymer fabric as sheets and tubes, according to Fast Co. Design. At the moment, the fabric seems to resemble wisps of silk, based on the videos from their Facebook page. Rowley, however, hopes that they can produce more complicated shapes from fibers that resemble cotton. Because such organic materials can’t handle the printing process, the Electroloom will more likely use synthetics or composites of synthetic and organic material. And Rowley hopes to achieve this goal by the end of the year, with the help of a small grant from Alternative Apparel.

The Electroloom team submitted their product to Alternative Apparel’s Sustainability in Design & Technology contest this past December, competing with four other entries. Beating out an urban farming project and “sculpture bike racks”, the clothing printer took home the Alternative Award, which included $1,000 and a membership to the hackerspace TechShop, home of Type A Machines. Part of the sustainability of the project comes from their take on the energy used to make clothing, with Rowley saying, “Something we are compelled by is embodied energy [which is] essentially the amount of energy that was used to take a raw material to a finished good. So a goal of this project is to reduce the amount of embodied energy in an article of clothing.” … (Read more)

Source: 3DPrintingIndustry.com

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