An Automated Process For Apparel Manufacturing

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The Clothing Creator is automated process for apparel manufacturing, a machine to make clothing without direct human intervention. The Clothing Creator system goes from a bolt of cloth to a finish garment in a 45-second cycle that combines 3D fabric molding and ultrasonics to affect the cutting/seaming. Though the technologies have been used throughout the industry and inherent to thermoplastic materials, our innovation addresses the material handling challenge and a way to integrate them into a complete manufacturing system. The process would easily lend itself to functional work clothing, military uniforms, activewear, athletic apparel, medical disposables, haz-mat/cleanroom protective garments and the eventual development for mass-customization of clothing. This volume oriented, flexible mass production system for garment production will have the capacity to produce garments of higher quality, quicker production lead-times and lower production costs than conventional cut and sew methods. With the adoption of this technology there could be a renaissance for the US apparel/textile manufacturing industry by on shoring production and domestic job creation.

The first generation machine will have the capacity for continual replication of exact copies of designed product that converts 2D fabrics into soft/flexible 3D garments. The Clothing Creator will accommodate a variety of knit, woven and non-woven materials that contain synthetic fibers, such as, polyester, nylon, polypropylene and Spandex, all off-the-shelf materials. Additionally, with the development of new smart fibers/fabrics tending to be synthetic in construction, the process has the potential to produce a whole new class of functionally oriented garments that would be prohibitive by conventional cut and sew processes.

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 washings, drying, dry cleaning or ironing. The process will also establish a new aesthetic vocabulary for the fashion designer. One that the designer already models in a 3D format on a computer and could go directly to a finished 3D garment to better fit the human body better, as well as, offer increased performance and added comfort.

As a futuristic scenario, if a consumer wanted a custom cycling jersey, they could collect a dozen soda bottles and recycle them into a hopper, which would grind them back into polymer pellets, which could then be extruded into fiber, which could then be woven/knit/processed into fabric, which could then be fed directly into the Clothing Creator machine, which would have flexible molds to accommodate the varied sizes and styles. The consumer could then step on a platform to have their body 3D scanned and with a fashion designers’ input or software suggestions from the consumer, print on-demand graphic patterns on the fabrics, to create a unique garment in real-time and immediate production. At present, all of these processes exist except on the garment production side. This is what we are proposing to accomplish.

Photos are sample garments.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Brett Stern
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Profession:
    Engineer/Designer
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
    1
  • Brett's favorite design and analysis tools:
    Paper & pencil
  • Brett is inspired by:
    Everyone wears clothing.
  • Patent status:
    patented