Additive Manufacturing Strategies

3D Printing a Path to Sartorial Perfection: Tailors Mark Uses 3D Technology for Better Fit

ST Medical Devices

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7b6f2dfdabec29c859b907494c041584Even for people who are reasonably satisfied with their own bodies, clothes shopping can leave you with the impression that you are a malformed freak of nature. For those who have the opportunity to have clothing tailored, the realization that we are all beautiful if our clothes would just fit us right is very satisfying. Custom fit clothing and a bevy of personal stylists is all that stands between Hollywood stars and the hoi polloi.

It is becoming increasingly common for clothing to be available with an opportunity for a certain amount of custom tailoring built into the online purchase experience. Now, with the easy integration of 3D data into web experiences, one set of high-end suit tailors, Tailors Mark, is expanding their reach by offering to custom tailor their shirts and suits to an exact replica of their client’s body. What this means is that rather than having to be in Melbourne to go in for a fitting, your data can be sent from wherever you are and still get you a fully personalized fit.

One day this will probably be the norm, but for now it is extraordinary, especially given the nature of the specific scanning technology they have developed that allows them to offer this option. Using this patent pending technique, a client can use their smartphone to scan their own body and have that data sent to the factory floor, where a torso model will be 3D printed at full scale to be used as the stand-in for the tailoring experience.

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The torso not only provides the tailors with traditional online body profile information such as chest circumference and arm length, but lets them take into account posture and weight distribution.

Tailors Mark already has 17,000 clients worldwide, but with this sort of universal access option, that is certain to expand exponentially. Rather than facing the nightmare of torso storage needs, the models are printed out of a lightweight reusable plastic filament that can be crushed and re-fed into the machine in order to create the next person’s fitting dummy. Each stand-in will be created on a number of 4- or 5-meter-high 3D printers that can crank out a new torso in about two hours.

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Tailors Mark co-founders Rob Fisher and Dave McLaughlin [Image: Pat Scala]

At this point, the process is still in development and is being tested at the Melbourne office, but after all the kinks are worked out and the process is perfected, the plan is to send the 3D printing equipment to its factory floor in Bangkok where most of its suits are made. Tailors Mark not only sees an advantage for clients but also for themselves, as they hope this technology will significantly reduce the need for further alterations on the suits they produce and nearly eliminate returns. Let’s discuss this topic further in the Tailoring & 3D Printing Technology forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Financial Times]

 

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