3D printing in companies is becoming a common sight now, and the big corporations are moving the fastest on the technology. While 3D printing is covering a lot of ground in those companies, we had yet to hear it extensively in the world of clothing. Nike has come the closest to this in using 3D printing for their athletic wear. But another well-known sports apparel company called Under Armour might be taking 3D printing even further in being able to print more clothing in the near future.
An announcement is going to be coming this September from the CEO of the company, Alan B. Guyen. Nobody knows what that's going to be, though it's thought they'll be announcing the creation of some kind of sports apparel created exclusively on a 3D printer. In an interview recently, Guyen elaborated on what the advent of 3D printed clothing might look like in the future. Not surprisingly, it looks quite amazing if not fully implementable yet.
The theory is that we could eventually be able to print out clothing on a daily basis and won't even need to use washers and dryers any longer. For those who get bored with their clothes easily, they may be glad to know we may be able to print a new shirt or other outfit daily. Afterward, we may be able to recycle the materials in the printer and turn it into another piece of clothing. Or, the materials would be inexpensive enough to dispose of the clothing and print a new piece the next morning.
Will we see clothing printed like that in homes of the near future? And will more clothing manufacturers start using 3D printers in the same way?
The Future of Clothing from 3D Printers
Guyen's hint above about what Under Armour will be doing seems to indicate it's something quite significant. It may kick off more clothing being printed by big-name apparel companies that will be priced cheaper thanks to quicker production times. Also, with 3D printers being able to create complex shapes and patterns, they'll also be customizable to bring the ultimate fashion statements.
Yes, this may be thought to take away from clothing designers that make clothes by hand. Then again, we always reiterate how careers we're used to seeing will be reinvented using 3D printer technology rather than eliminate jobs.
Clothing production of the future will probably be on a CAD program that we can tweak ourselves. For those who place a lot of importance on the clothes they wear, that's going to be significant. In the world of sports apparel, it's going to be even more important in the constant issue of being comfortable while also setting fashion trends.
It always takes just one company to get something fast-tracked. Under Armour may snowball 3D printed clothing this fall to a point where we see full use of it by the time the next Olympics roll around when sports apparel goes on full display.