3D Printed Fabrics Set to Revolutionize Clothing Industry

3D Printed Fabrics Set to Revolutionize Clothing Industry image
April 29, 2016 | Source: Chris Wood, Gizmag

UK Loughborough University and garment manufacturer the Yeh Group collaborative project aims to develop one-step process for creating 3D-printed clothing.[DSIAC Comment:What if printed layers of ceramic and composite materials could be used in addition to the plastics?How could this innovation be applied to soldier clothing and PPE to improve performance and reduce susceptibility and vulnerability?]A new partnership between Loughborough University in the UK and garment manufacturer the Yeh Group aims to kick 3D printed fashion into gear. The idea is to cut out the waste of the clothing industry and hopefully arrive at the project's eventual goal, which is to provide a system for personalized, printed polymer clothing that takes just 24 hours to produce.The clothing industry is huge, with consumers in the UK alone spending a whopping £44 billion (US$63 billion) on new garments each and every year. That consumption also generates 1.8 million tonnes (1.98 million tons) of waste material, and uses up 6.4 billion m3 of water.Researchers at Loughborough University believe that 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, could truly revolutionize the industry. They note that while the practice of making clothes has been streamlined and manufacturing costs have been lowered, the underlying processes and techniques haven't really changed since the 19th century.