Company Plans to Mass Produce 3-D Printed Textiles
With the current boom of 3-D printed materials, products, such as medical materials, toys and tech items, have been created through 3-D printers. Now, according to 3ders.org, a U.K.-based company called Tamicare has begun operations on its first production line of 3-D printed textiles, and plans to mass produce wearable items through its patented Cosyflex 3-D printing method.
The Cosyflex system can manufacture up to 3 million textile items annually, 3ders.org reported. Tamicare co-founder Tamar Giloh said that the system enables high- volume production with a lower cost than traditional manufacturing processes.
"The Cosyflex system builds a garment layer by layer," Tim Harper, a technology entrepreneur specializing in smart textiles, who has been working with Tamicare, told 3ders.org. "Any one of those layers can be textile, polymer, latex or printed electronics, allowing us complete freedom in the way we design smart textiles."
Tamicare co-founder Ehud Giloh told 3ders.org that producing athletic wear items, such as sneakers, can require more than 100 individual operations during the manufacturing process.
"[…] But Cosyflex reduces this to three," he said. "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."
This process could have an impact on wearable technology, as sensors and wires could be printed along with the rest of the items, as opposed to adding in the technological components later on.