Proof of Concept
The Apparel Made for You (AM4U) Proof of Concept, Spring 2012
The AMM department linked with five leading technology companies represented on its Industry Advisory Board (Critical Mass Manufacturing, AIMS, Tukatech, Styku, and Eton Systems) to propose a new model for apparel shopping and manufacturing. The AM4U concept will provide consumers with custom designed and custom fitted apparel at affordable prices. Furthermore, by linking the consumer’s purchase to digital fabric dyeing and printing and local garment assembly, items will be manufactured and delivered directly to the consumer within 72 hours.
The project links emerging technologies that individually are having a major impact on the apparel business.
When integrated these promise to revolutionize it. They include:
- body scanning and avatar creation,
- 3D computer aided design and fitting,
- Cloud-based business integration systems;
- digital dyeing and printing,
- and computer aided manufacturing.
In making exactly what consumers want, when they want it, and by using a digital coloration technique that uses no water and requires little energy, the potential benefits of this technology are vast:
Consumer (greatly enhanced choice and perfect fit every time)
Environmental (elimination of unnecessary waste; reduced water pollution; and preservation of land and water resources)
Economic (improved industry profitability; more localized, service-based manufacturing; enhanced design)
The AM4U Demo at AMM Open House March 3rd 2012
At our Open House event we demonstrated how these technologies work together. Three prospective students volunteered to be customers and purchase a $9.99 top.
Body Scan and Avatar
First they were scanned using Styku’s Kinect-powered body scanning system. In a few seconds their avatar appeared on the web-store screen.
Style Selection and Virtual Fitting
From the store, they had two shirt styles to choose from: a v-neck women’s tee shirt or unisex tank top. We used two to keep this element simple. Once selected, the shirt was automatically fitted to their avatar.
Next, they chose the shirt color from a palette of 12. They were able to select different colors and patterns for each garment element (front, back, sleeves, trim), if they desired. Finally, each was able to choose from three different Cal Poly logos to decorate their top. They were able to place these anywhere on the shirt and re-size them according to their taste. While we could have offered an infinite number of colors and large selection of logos – we kept the selection simple for purposes of time-keeping.
View and Purchase
When they had finished designing the shirt they were able to view the finished product fitted to their avatar on the web site. They then proceeded to the checkout and put the item in their digital shopping basket where they paid by credit card.
Fabric Cutting, Dyeing and Printing
On receipt of payment, the product specifications and customer information were sent electronically to the fabric dyeing/printing company in Rancho Cucamonga, Critical Mass Manufacturing. Here the garment panels were cut from the white roll of fabric. At the same time, the panel specifications (size, shape, color, decoration) were printed onto donor paper in the CAD lab. The garments panels and donor paper were loaded onto the printing machine and Active Tunnel Coloration system that dyed and printed the panels in a single pass. The inside of the back panel was simultaneously printed with the consumer label information - including the customers name!
The completed panels for each top were then bundled and shipped to AMM Apparel production lab at Cal Poly Pomona.
On arrival at the AMM apparel production lab, our sewing team assembled each top according to the technical specifications. On completion they were pressed and then presented to their respective customers.
Customer delivery and Try On
The consumers tried on their new tops and were delighted. They fitted perfectly and looked great!
The whole process from body scan to try-on took less than 4 hours.
AM4U – Next Steps
We are working with our industry partners and seeking new partners to demonstrate the integration of these new technologies in a commercial setting. One of the first venues will involve AMM’s apparel production (AM2) and apparel retail (Apparelscapes) micro-businesses run by our students as part of their degree program.
For more information contact:
Dr Peter Kilduff
Dr Muditha Senanayake