As we wrote in our latest roundup of 3D printing innovations: “we can’t quite wrap our heads around the idea that anyone needs 3D printed disposable underwear, but the thought of being able to print other items of clothing down the line is pretty cool.”
A week later, we thought we’d see how our opinion of this seemingly silly 3D printing advancement holds up after we dig into the story just a little bit more. After all, how could we pass up the chance to learn more about this crazy fusion of style and high tech, even if we have to type the word “panties” in the process?
So yes, the English company Tamicare has come up with the technology to 3D print textiles, among them disposable underwear. Weird? Sure, but we got past it quick, ’cause the way they’re produced might revolutionize manufacturing as we know it. The 3D fabric printing system called Cosyflex (which is shown in this terribly blurry, yet incredibly interesting video) is a completely automated process that instantly creates fully finished textiles from raw materials with no cutting necessary and producing zero waste. It’s equipped for mass production—right now it’s able to produce 10 million biodegradable panties a year—and it’s also suited for on-demand production, a lot like the mind-blowing 3D printing concept the Clothing Printer. As we mentioned in our prior post, the panties only take three seconds to print. So yeah, this is pretty cool.
And we’re not the only ones who think so: it has been reported that national and international sports and fashion brands, including Victoria’s Secret (a company that’s no stranger to 3D printing), are in talks with Tamicare to collaborate on one level or another. Soon, your favorite clothing chains might be selling custom 3D printed panties, which takes the idea of “personal shopping” way beyond the next level.
Don’t worry though, the lush and lacy shelves of Victoria’s Secret won’t be totally replaced with this nude, high-waisted panty that leaves much to be desired in terms of looks and design. Cosyflex can seamlessly print everything from patterns to perforations and embossing to make each textile totally unique. The fabric itself is super stretchy, which makes it easy to work with, and so versatile that one sheet can be printed into multiple materials, patterns, and colors on one continuous sheet. So underwear is really a jumping off point—this manufacturing innovation has unlimited potential that should excite just about everyone, including us.
What’s peaking your interest in the 3D printing world? Any cool advancements we should know about? Tell us in the comments below!