My personal vision for 3D printing to help overhaul the manufacturing process we currently use in apparel is to have local ‘factories’ where people can take their digital files and have their products created with the help of the expert machinists working on machines capable of creating almost seamless sweaters, woven and nonwoven garments, and the accessories, hardware and doo dads to complete the look. Think Henry Ford’s factory, only except cleaner and with the ability to add some color other than black. (I happen to like black, myself, but weirdly not everyone else appreciated tone-on-tone black clothing. Go figure.)
Blu-Bin is a new company that has just opened the doors (September 29!) of its first local 3D printing ‘factory’. This is exciting on many levels, not least of which is it’s a first tangible step to getting local 3D printers in every community, but also because once one company starts it opens the field for other companies. Their service is a long way away yet from my vision of lots of different kinds of machines that can accept a wide range of digital formats to create a garment, but it’s a start.
Blu-Bin founders admit they are under-funded and are looking for capital to help them grow, so VCs out there who have even a moderate visionary slant, why not trot on over and at least look at the concept.