Electroloom - The World's First 3D Fabric Printer

Posted by Zenphamy 4 years, 12 months ago to Technology
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From the Article:


We are currently working with a custom polyester/cotton blend, which is compatible with the stock molds that the Electroloom Developer Kit ships with, and can be used to test your own custom and DIY molds. Fabrics are shipped as liquids in "pods" which are placed into the machine prior to each job.

We don't have prices for replacement fabric solutions just yet as we are hard at work on sourcing quality bulk materials for the best prices. Replacement solutions will be available for order through our website, and the Developer Kits will ship with 1.5L of polyester solution--enough to make at least 7 beanies, 4 tank tops, or 3 skirts!

How we're different

Traditional 3D printed garments are typically constructed of intricate connections, like joints, that allow the material to bend and move, effectively creating chain-mail that mimics how fabrics actually move. Our material, however, is flexible and light by nature. It's composed of countless tiny fibers (on the micro and even nano-meter scale), meaning all of your designs are guaranteed to flex, drape, and fold just like you would expect fabrics to do!"
SOURCE URL: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/electroloom/electroloom-the-worlds-first-3d-fabric-printer?ref=NewsJun0415

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  • Posted by $ jlc 4 years, 12 months ago
    In reference to some of the comments on this thread: This device would be good for making rayon garments, which begin as a chemical digest of cotton. Most of the fiber geeks I know (and I know a lot of them) consider cotton rayon to be a 'natural' fiber; I have heard them discuss rayon's 'drape' in comparison to that of hand-woven fabric (which they make).

    The good thing about a 3D printer is that it should be no more difficult for it to turn out a rose path or broken twill or a jacquard than it would be for it to turn out a plain weave fabric. I am sure that they have already been told that the fabric must have 'color' but it needs to have 'spin' as well (or at least 'directionality'...does not need to literally be spun) so that the light reflects/refracts in different patterns.

    This printer would be a godsend to me, since there is little that I like in modern fashion. I would go ape, recreating modern garments (that I actually like) with 7th century textile patterns on them. The ability to design the texture and colors of mine own fabric and then produce perfectly sized clothes in classic modern styles for me to wear....wonderful.

    If other people feel the same way: Goodbye fashion industry. This invention does indeed have game-changing potential.

    Jan, spins on a drop spindle
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    • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 12 months ago
      There is definitely a difference between the bleeding edge and the cutting edge in 3D printing. Turnkey reliability is just starting to be possible for a couple of companies that are out there. If you are interested in buying such a printer, shoot me a PM. This is a field in which it is easy to get sucked in by the hype.

      Nonetheless, you are going to see a lot of people learn how to do CAD drawing because now the general public is interested in 3D printing, and you really need to be able to make your own CAD drawing if you are going to print anything customized.
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  • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 12 months ago
    i'll have to check this out. It is in definitely in my area.
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    • Posted by 4 years, 12 months ago
      Yes, It looked cool.
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      • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 12 months ago
        One of my current research projects is to use poly(lactic acid) and copolymers of poly(lactic acid) and other polymers to 3D print tissue scaffolding. We can print it at about the mesh size of a typical shirt now. Getting to that point was not nearly as easy as pushing a button, but it is getting much easier. One of my best friends at FIT runs a summer camp that I helped out with the first edition of last summer, because my older daughter wanted to go to that camp as her high school graduation present. The campers keep their printer that they build at the end of the camp. Next week is the start of this year's camp.
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  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 4 years, 12 months ago
    Cool. Curious what the limits are. Can they print silk (dissolved) or other filaments that can be used as a matrix for tissue growth?

    The fact that the fabrics are low quality is less critical than the flexibility in the 3D shape of the fabric. Making composites is problematic in laying up the fibers. This technology could overcome this limit in some composites, but I doubt it will ever serve to "print" filaments stronger than those manufactured as filaments.
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  • Posted by wiggys 4 years, 12 months ago
    this process will still be in the laboratory in 20 years or longer.
    the fabric made is synthetic and it will not, WILL NOT, replace cotton, wool, silk, rayon or any of the existing synthetics currently being made. it may ultimately have other applications but for clothing no.
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