Clothing Creator is an automated manufacturing process to fabricate clothing without direct human labor. The process can go from bolt of cloth to finished garment in a 45 second cycle. This volume oriented, flexible mass production process requires synthetic fibers and accomplishes this task by molding the fabric into a soft 3-D shape while simultaneously ultrasonically bonding/cutting the materials together. These techniques are inherent to thermoplastic materials and apply standard processing techniques that are currently employed in allied plastic/web processing industries. This system for garment production will have the capacity to produce garments of higher quality, lower production costs and decentralized production facilities.
The system provides for continual replication of exact copies of designed product that converts 2-D fabrics into 3-D garments. The process will accommodate a variety of knit, woven and non-woven materials that contain synthetic fibers, such as, polyester, nylon, Spandex or polypropylene. Among the many types of products that could be manufactured are sportswear, cycling clothing, skiwear, work clothing, career apparel, athletic apparel, swimwear, medical disposables, health-care products, haz-mat clothing and clean-room garments.
The process is flexible in fabricating a variety of types of garments, ranging from loose-fitting styles to highly contoured designs. The three-dimensional format of the process will be particularly well suited to traditionally heavily constructed garments, since the built-in memory of the fabric will not be affected by repeated cleanings. The process will also establish a new aesthetic vocabulary for the designer. One that can be modeled in a 3D format on a computer and go directly to finished garment to create a 3-D garment to better fit the human body as well as offer increased performance and added comfort.
Traditional apparel manufacturing has changed little since the invention of the sewing machine in the 1840’s and still involves tedious tasks for production. Today, efficiencies are accomplished by out-souring to 3rd world nations with cheap labor components. What make this process different from prior attempts to automate apparel manufacturing is that past efforts have tried to copy human motion when picking up multiple plies of material and have proven to be a difficult task to replicate. The Clothing Creator attempts the opposite orientation. In our method, the fabric is stationary and the machinery, which has defined parameters, moves around the material. Material handling is accomplished by transporting the fabric linearly from the bolt of cloth by supporting the material on its edge by the application of a tenterframe type of a system. Similar to a pin-type paper printer, the material is secured on its exterior dimension and transferred into the system. While the fabric is being secured in place by the tenterframe, the machinery (molds/ultrasonics) moves around the fixed motionless material. All machinery motions will apply standard computer controls to effect time, motion and placement.
• Greatly reduce production and supply chain costs
• Decentralize manufacturing facilities
• Increase quality of garments
• Reduce lead time for production runs
• Capacity to make a new class of garments
• Everyone wears clothing