Dress Factory Applies 3D Printing in Prototyping
Ever wondered how that stunning dress was so intricately designed? The credit goes to the constant innovation in machinery and ‘disruptive technologies’ that make the process such as sewing a dress or making dress-sewing patterns cost-efficient, without overlooking style and quality.
Dresses come in different shapes, forms, and textures. Anyone who’s into the retail or wholesale clothing business knows the significance of having strong connections and partnerships with dress manufacturers while keeping up with new trends. Do you know where to source quality summer dresses? How about a bulk order for your fall/winter dress collections?
Why not explore what’s happening behind the catwalk and see how a dress factory produces the items to give you a broader perspective of your clothing business? At the same time, educating yourself on new technologies and machinery will help you create better designs and costing strategies, as well as help you in sourcing different types of dresses.
Dress manufacturing includes systematic processes—from designing to cutting and sewing a dress—giving the garments form and structure until they’re ready for shipping.
3D Printing Hits the Fashion World
3D printing technology is now a major influence on the high-fashion industry because of the way it allows designers to create unique designs on dresses. While 3D Printing remains a test bed or experimentation for novelty dresses—meaning it’s unsuitable for mass production for now—it is changing the process, in that instead of sewing a dress, the dress now gets printed based on the CAD file or virtual design.
Bloomberg recently featured the world’s most high-tech, 3D-printed dress worth $100,000 and designed by Michael Schmidt. The dress was “fully articulated”, made from 17 printed pieces, 3,000 articulated joints, and more than 13,000 Swarovski crystals—this high-tech couture comes with intricate designs that can only be produced using this technology.
The designer created a virtual 3D design on the computer after which it went through ‘selective laser centering,’ combining it with nylon powder from the printing machine’s base. It took them hundreds of hours, cost more than $100,000, and required special skills in mechanical assembly, material science, and 3D design to complete the project.
Stoll Knitting Machines
Stoll is one of the most popular makes of equipment used in the clothing industry and sells a wide range of textile and fabric machines. From knit and wear to multiple gauge for dresses and garments, these machines use Autarkic Direct Feed for their innovative knitting techniques.
Stoll machines are computerized and integrated with a complete set of sliding bobbin creels for a smoother knitting process and with electronic yarn carriers that support vertical and horizontal layers. Stoll’s One Yarn Carrier is capable of handling knitting techniques in garments, whether plated, inverse plating, or pleats.
2D-3D Laser Cutting System for Dresses
Another well-known make is Sisma, a laser-cutting computerized technology that works with most garments and dresses, cutting them with accuracy and precision using marking and milling techniques. While there are still dress factories that combine human workers with computerized cutting processes, this technology prides itself on its speed and quality.
Robotics in dress manufacturing
Can robots replace human workers in dress manufacturing? The United States seems to offer an affirmative answer. A Pentagon-funded Georgia Tech spinoff team is now exploring computer-controlled sewing machines for garment manufacturing where robots can sew fabrics “stich by stich,” mimicking human hand movements and eyesight. The idea of robots completely taking charge in manufacturing with the aim of automating the production process in the future, and making the production process “zero direct labor”, does not sound so far-fetched any more.
It’s too early to tell if 3D printing and robotics will immediately become mainstream technologies for manufacturing, and yet these computerized machines do have the edge in speeding up the process together with human workers.