USA: Levi’s goes fu­tur­is­tic with 3D print­ing tests for denim jack­ets

Stitch World - - TECH TRACK -

Denim brand Levi’s is re­port­edly test­ing 3D Print­ing Tech­nol­ogy to de­velop its denim jack­ets. The step has come at a time when the com­pany is plan­ning to delve into a fu­tur­is­tic mode to in­no­vate the man­u­fac­tur­ing process and its de­sign ap­proach.

The trial project is be­ing headed by Paul Dillinger, who is also the Vice Pres­i­dent and Head of Global Prod­uct In­no­va­tion at Levi’s. Paul and his team are dig­i­tal­iz­ing the de­sign process of a jacket pro­to­type as dis­closed by Paul dur­ing the re­cently held Au­todesk Pier 9 Dig­i­tal Print­ing Work­shop in San Fran­cisco, Cal­i­for­nia.

Levi’s is tak­ing dig­i­tal ren­der­ings of its denim jacket and us­ing 3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate a shell of ‘what the real jacket looks like ex­actly’. The denim brand is us­ing Strata­sys’ For­tus 450 mc 3D pro­duc­tion sys­tem for ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of the process.

Paul ex­plained that the process is ded­i­cated to ex­tract the real essence of the prod­uct and then shape it as a dig­i­tal en­tity. This fur­ther can be dis­trib­uted and re­motely turned into tem­plates which in­cor­po­rate in­ten­sive pat­terns and then can just be all cap­tured in the piece of a very ad­vanced dig­i­tal col­lat­eral.

“Do­ing so, we don’t have to rely on sorts of cen­tral­ized man­u­fac­tur­ing sites (any­more),” claims Paul.

’ Levi’s is aim­ing to bring down the ma­te­rial cost and, thereby, man­u­fac­tur­ing cost us­ing 3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the process will en­able Levi’s to cap­ture all the twill lines, stitch lines and the but­ton­holes of the jacket with the help of to­pog­ra­phy scan. Th­ese fea­tures will then be re-ren­dered as a 3D print, re­duc­ing seven dif­fer­ent pan­els to just one panel by su­per-im­pos­ing fab­ric over the tem­plate.

The pro­to­type process will then in­clude scrub­bing the tem­plate through a sand­pa­per which cre­ates shadow and im­pres­sion of the tem­plate on the fab­ric. There­fore, the jean docket starts ap­pear­ing on the sur­face of the denim fab­ric.

Ac­cord­ing to Levi’s, the 3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy is not be­ing opted to cre­ate an en­tirely new func­tional jacket but for the de­tails, which are ac­tu­ally just im­pres­sions on the denim fab­ric. Th­ese im­pres­sions will fur­ther help the com­pany in cre­at­ing a semi-du­pli­cate jacket.

The brand is aim­ing to bring down the ma­te­rial cost and, thereby, man­u­fac­tur­ing cost us­ing this digitalization. By do­ing so, Levi’s will reap both en­vi­ron­men­tal and fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits.

Sur­pris­ingly, Paul has made it clear that Levi’s will not be retailing the denim jack­ets once the test­ing process of 3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy is com­pleted.

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