The future of fashion has long intersected with the field of 3D printing, from latticed 3D printed swimsuits to bacteria-infected space gear. With Electroloom, garment-making moves even futher forward—while simultaneously getting back to basics—through 3D-printed textiles.
Developed over a year ago by computer engineer Joseph White and biomedical/mechanical engineers Marcus Foley and Aaron Rowley, Electroloom, which the creators call the "world's first" 3D printer for fabric, now plans to launch its first alpha tester set of developer kits, with the help of a financial nudge from a Kickstarter campaign. The kit includes 1.5 liters of polyester solution, enough for seven beanies, four tank tops, and three skirts. “Make curtains or doilies or scarves or lampshades,” the engineers encourage on their Kickstarter page. “We can't wait to be surprised and impressed by what you're able to create with the Electroloom Alpha.”
Once in possession of the kit, users simply design their article in CAD or Illustrator and place the resulting mold into the Electroloom Alpha Chamber. Within the chamber, the process escalates. Employing a technique called “Field Guided Fabrication,” an internal electric field pilots the liquid solution onto the mold in an even layer, weaving the nano-fibers into a seamless, united form. With the mold removed, the fabric retains its design but flows and folds like any other fabric. “Behind the scenes, our technology reduces the traditional textile manufacturing process into a single step,” the engineers explain further. “Instead of sending raw material through factories where it undergoes numerous processing steps to create a traditional textile, we are able to directly convert raw material to finished good.”
Find out below why “Most people say it looks like magic," and why the guys at Electroloom "tend to agree”:
"Electroloom is creating a technology to enable anyone to design and create seamless, ready-to-wear garments based on custom 3D geometries. We seek to empower and enable more people to access the world of fashion and design through a new and contemporary design paradigm. Like 3D printing has done for solid objects, we see our technology as one that can afford more people creative freedom, particularly in the world of fabric, textiles, and clothing."
Via 3D Print