We went to Silicon Valley Fashion Week? (yeah the question mark is intentional) hoping to be blown away by insider perspectives on the future of fashion and technology. Instead, we endured three nights of variety show-type spectacle that overshadowed the very little sartorial savvy presented, including drone models that hovered over the runway towing gear from the event’s sponsor, BetaBrand, a spacesuit-clad dancer pop-and-locking to the Frozen hit “Let It Go,” and a dude in a helmet filled with 35 gallons of water and *real* goldfish staggering around on stage. Where was that thoughtful curation and insight? Where were the industry disrupting innovations? Where was this game-changing news? The Electroloom, the San Francisco-made 3D fabric printer that’s promising to change the way you shop forever, is now available to the public through Kickstarter for the first time ever.
If you’re in need of a quick refresher on the recent innovations in 3D printing , the Electroloom is the world’s first-ever machine capable of printing movable, breathable fabric — not the stiff, joint-heavy filament we’re used to seeing from traditional 3D printers. Now, after a year and a half of development, it can print full garments from scratch. That means once you’ve swapped your sewing skills for CAD chops, you can simply press a button to create your entire wardrobe with this machine.
At least, that’s what’s in store for Electroloom users. Currently, the machine can only tackle printing basics like a tank top and A-line skirt. And because the machine requires to-scale models of your soon-to-be clothing in order to work — it’s the surface upon which that the “ink” or liquid solution is turned into fabric, a process that looks like magic — its size seems to limit it to printing separates. But those V1 road blocks are the reasons why Electroloom put its Alpha model on Kickstarter: to lure tech tinkerers and DIY-ers to help take it to the next level.
“We’re looking for people who want to use, explore, break, hack and improve our machines, so that ultimately we can provide a more robust and reliable technology,” it states on the Electroloom Kickstarter page. Sound like you? For a $4,500 pledge, early adopters can grab the prototype + two custom-made molds and have a hand in refining technology that’s poised to change everything we know about designing and buying clothes very, very soon. Or for a more do-able $100 donation, the team at Electroloom will ship you a custom tank top or skirt printed from its revolutionary fabric. Now that’s something worthy of a runway show.
Are you eager to get your hands on the Electroloom? Tell us what clothing you’d print yourself in the comments below.