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Fashion embracing 3D printing and robotics

Despite talk about robots stealing jobs, some folks in the fashion industry aren’t perturbed at all. In fact, four women have embraced the idea. They believe new technologies like 3D printing could accelerate and transform production in the apparel industry.

Last week, a Fashion Group International of Los Angeles (FGILA) panel came together to discuss how this could happen. The discussion centred around Fashion Technology Innovation, Challenges and New Frontiers.

There was much talk of how advances in 3D printing and robotics could change the labour market. The answers to these queries were ideas such as sew bots and 3D printers replacing traditional sewing factories.

Pat Trautman, president of Global Garment Engineering said that in the US, people don’t have anybody those who want to sew. That’s why they needed sew bots to have a competitive advantage over foreign production.

“We need people to monitor the machines,” observed Irina Palmer, a technical designer for the Kendall + Kylie clothing brand.

Also in the panel were architects Julia Körner and Jenny Wu who discussed how they already use 3D printers to create their unique fashion pieces. Julia Körner is the founder of JK Design GmbH which specialises in digital design for 3D printing. She’s been trying to move 3D printing from catwalk to the streets. In 2015, she launched sporophyte which is a ready-to-wear, 3D printed collection.

She has also won awards for her use of 3D printing such as the Rising Star Award at the Global 3D Printing Awards by the 3D Print Show London 2014.