Designers of innovative future products are increasingly aware that the breadth of 3D additive manufacturing and new materials offers pragmatically improved technological solutions for many types of industries including clothing. In the future, the 5th Industrial Revolution (AI and Cooperative Systems) will continue today’s Industry 4.0. and development will be based on intelligent autonomous robot systems under HPC/Cloud control and Industrial 3D printers as peripherals. 3D Clothing Production by Additive Manufacturing (3D-CPAM) experiment is a brand new optimised, innovative production process with features of flexibility, adaptability, integrability and full programmability but is limited due to the time required to produce a product which significantly decreases the total efficiency of the production.
The additive manufacturing (3D printing) technologies have a major impact on the traditional supply chain by reducing the number of necessary steps, allowing more distributed and decentralized production (e.g., at the point of sale), and lowering the need for warehousing, packaging, and transportation. But several limitations are found during the process of clothing manufacturing with 3D technology, which are related to the modeling programs, printing processes, the creation process and the wearing of the clothing.
The current manufacturing process of the end-user Danit Peleg includes a farm of standard, one-headed 3D printers, each printing one part of a single garment. The computer-based 3D model of a garment has to be divided into smaller pieces, to fit the size of a 3D printer, prepared for the 3D printing, printed and finally, the individual pieces are sawed together into a single garment. What the end-user wants is to speed up the production process by being able to print much larger pieces of a garment and in less time. That will reduce the number of pieces to be printed and significantly decrease the time required to put the pieces together.
The optimization by speed-up of the production phase is therefore of the utmost importance in delivering the end products to the market. To overcome these bottlenecks 3D-CPAM aims to optimize the 3D fashion design-manufacturing process by significantly reducing the production time combining modern industrial large 3D printing technologies and advanced HPC/Cloud services. The technology provider partner Mikrotvornica provides the Large Scale Industrial 3D Digital Printing Environment, which will be optimized for the fast garment production, and the HPC/Cloud infrastructure is provided through the CloudiFacturing platform.
The 3D-CPAM project focuses on optimizing the rendering programs and printing drive process, to reduce both the time-to-solution and the cost of the manufacturing process.
Two cluster technologies, the Nozzle Cluster Printing and the Computing Cluster (HPC Cloud) will be integrated into the 3D garment production process. This will create a technological synergy and a new industrial additive platform supported by HPC Cloud for a new concept of entire fashion production, enabling personalized garments to be produced in less time. The multi-bridge 3D printer will have a twofold impact. First, the printer will enable faster printing using multiple bridges at the same time, and because of its size, will print much larger objects (pieces of the garment). Second, the time required to put pieces together into a single garment will be significantly reduced since fewer pieces will be used. Furthermore, the inputs (called G-Code files) required for a printer have to be pre-processed in order to be printed on a specialized multi-bridge printer. This additional step, compared to the standard single bridge printers, is a time-consuming step and will be executed on HPC Cloud infrastructure, thus significantly reducing the printer pre-processing time.
The experiment is expected to have a significant impact on how the fashion is now produced and make it one step closer to a faster and more productive customers-tailored and personalized garments production in less time. Using the proposed process and the multi-bridge 3D industrial printer we envision reducing the overall production cost by factor 2 and the overall production process time by factor 2. Mikrotvornica will enhance its 3D printer with a developed distributed pre-preprocessing and will expand its printer application, not only for the printing community but to a larger market. Danit Peleg will improve her business plan and exploit new market segments, especially where fast delivery of personalized garments are expected. The experiment will improve technology, business and social innovation impact.