3D Printer To Make Clothes

Electroloom, founded by entrepreneur Aaron Rowley, is also the name of the company's sole product: an in-development 3-D printer for creating customized, on-demand apparel. Rowley recently won a grant from Alternative Apparel, the Atlanta-based company known for its comfortable and casual clothing made from organic cottons and recycled fibers.

Electroloom still has a way to go. So far Rowley and his team have managed to print sheets and tubes of polymer fabric with the machine. The Alternative Grant will allow them to pursue more complicated shapes, like T-shirts, as well as fibers that more closely resemble cotton. Natural fibers like cottons and furs are more easily destroyed during the printing process, so while they prototype and search for a solution, Electroloom will use synthetic materials, or a mix of natural and synthetic.

Eventually, Rowley imagines an online database with crowdsourced designs, not unlike Shapeways’ online emporium of designs. “We think it may also be practical to provide basic templates--T-shirts, beanies, and the like--for users who may not be entirely design savvy,” he tells Co.Design. First up for Electroloom? “Perhaps a beanie.”

Source: fastcodesign.comAdded: 30 January 2014