The textile mass production industry is drastically changing in a positive way – all with the help of 3D textile printing.
Tamicare is a Manchester based company that has spent the past decade developing and patenting a system which can mass produce 3D printed textiles.
Now, they have created Cosyflex, a 3D printing process that fabricates textiles by using liquid polymers and textile fibers. This could dramatically change the industry as the process can be easily adjusted to varying product needs, allowing for easy customization.
After a lot of hard work, the first production line – which is capable of producing up to three million items a year – has just begun operating.
There are great benefits to this system such as virtually eliminating waste and also using environmentally friendly recyclable materials. Tamar Giloh, Tamicare founder and CEO, says: “Our Cosyflex production system allows 3D printing to be used for mass production for the first time ever. Instead of creating items one at a time, Cosyflex enables high volume high density production from a small footprint at costs far below traditional manufacturing processes.”
This has already attracted the attention of several companies and so far a multi-million dollar agreement has been signed between Tamicare and a major sportswear brand.
3D textile printing dramatically reduces complex operation steps
Further benefits of this technology include allowing for complex and multi-material garments to be printed in one piece. As this means no need for sewing or cutting, it is even possible to print entire shoes in just a few steps.
Ehud Giloh, CTO and co-inventor of the technology, explains: “Sports shoes can require over a hundred individual operations during manufacturing, but Cosyflex reduces this to three. The same is true for many other complex designs. This allows companies to produce in one location what previously required a complex global supply chain.”
Currently, traditionally manufactured garments have to have these smart materials woven or knitted into the fabric or even applied to them. However, with Cosyflex the sensors, electronics and other smart materials can be printed directly into the garment, hopefully making the process a lot easier.
In order to continue to grow this smart technology, Tamicare is now working with Tim Harper, a technology entrepreneur who has expertise in medical devices, smart textiles and graphene. “The Cosyflex system builds a garment layer by layer,” said Harper. “Any one of those layers can be textile, polymer, latex or printed electronics allowing us complete freedom in the way we design smart textiles.”
What do you think of this? Are you interested in the future of smart technology?
License: The text of "Tamicare: 3D Textile Printing Goes into Mass Production" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.