2D printing and other tech could make clothing more breathable, lightweight and more durable.
But for now, we still don’t know enough about how it works to be confident about the technology.
“No one has the answers to why we’re using so much noise in our clothing,” said Paul Gossett, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Oxford.
“This is a huge unknown in our industry.
We’re in the middle of a global pandemic.
In the UK, we are in the midst of a crisis and I don’t think we have a lot of answers.”
In the future, Gossets thinks the world could be much more open about what’s going on with our clothing.
“We could have much more transparency in terms of how we make our clothes, how we clean our clothes and how we store them,” he said.
“I think we need to have the answer, or the right answer, about how to make the best clothes for the environment.”
Gossett believes that a key to making clothes that are more breathably, lightweight, and durable is understanding the technology that’s behind it.
He believes that we have been able to “unlock the secrets” of 3D printing by understanding how the filament is created and how it is processed.
Gossets believes that the filament itself is not an issue.
“[The filament] is made from a mixture of carbon nanotubes and plastic.
That is not a big problem,” he explained.”
It is not something you can change.
You can make your own filament and you can modify it.”
The process of using a 3D printer to print a material has a huge impact on its properties, according to Gossetts.
In order to print 3D filament, the material has to be heated in a controlled environment, then heated again to create the 3D structure.
The heated filament then travels through a process called ‘thermal expansion’ which causes the structure to shrink and stretch in a specific way.
Gossetts believes that this process has a “big impact on the way you create 3D structures in materials” and he says that in a future, “we could make materials that were far lighter, with much higher conductivity and much higher strength.”
Goulding is one of a number of academics who are working to improve our understanding of 3d printing, especially in light of the pandemic and its impact on our planet.
But for Gosset, there is still so much to learn about the subject.
For instance, he believes that 3D printed clothes will help us understand how to improve the environmental impact of our products.
“We’ll be able to better understand the environmental impacts of clothing, and we’ll also be able improve clothing, not only by printing it better, but also by using it for energy saving,” he told RTE.
When asked how his lab is doing, Goulding said that they are “pretty busy” but said they have already been able “to print a lot” of material.
However, they still have a long way to go before they can print a product that is “really comfortable” and “really breathable.”