Watching the technology, I still almost don’t believe that it’s real, but, after a successful Kickstarter last June, the Electroloom clothing 3D printer is really coming to life and it’s pretty amazing to watch. The startup – which received a big boost after being a part of the HAX hardware accelerator in Shenzen, China – is now in the process of fine-tuning its Field Guided Fabrication machines to deliver them to backers. In the process, the Electroloom team has developed and unveiled the Electroloom Mini to complement its larger Electroloom system.
The technology behind the Electroloom is fascinating. First, users must have a mold for their garment, which can be CNC’d or 3D printed or even handmade. After placing the mold into the Electroloom, a liquid solution is injected into the machine and is guided onto to the fabric by an electric field. The material, which has, at this point, been converted from liquid into solid cloth, evenly coats the mold until the task is complete. When the object is popped out of the machine, the user has a complete, seamless garment. Below is the Electroloom Mini, which demonstrates this process and one of the startup’s colored inks, a process they’ve been working on since the Kickstarter.
With the Kickstarter complete, the Electroloom team is hoping to get their machines out to their backers, who pre-ordered the larger-scale version of the product for $4,500 and up. These alpha testers will help the startup with feedback about the product and will be the first to develop applications for the Electroloom. So, it may be some time before you can get your own Electroloom or even an Electroloom Mini, but, by the time you can, hopefully the technology will work as seamlessly as the products it makes.