Modeclix. The additively manufactured adaptable textile
Creating flexible materials using additive manufacturing techniques continues to be both challenging and rewarding. Our research project, Modeclix addresses the challenges through combining both traditional construction techniques with advanced manufacturing technologies. Modeclix consists of a system of additively manufactured links that can be manufactured as linked panels but the design of the link allows for the panels to be de-constructed and then reassembled by hand. The system enables a range of different shapes to be constructed, with no size restrictions that is often a defining factor of AM technology. In the first instance Modeclix is being used to successfully create a range of clothing and fashion accessories to demonstrate the versatility of the linking system. The sheets of linked textile are designed to be printed in polyamide (Nylon PA12). The material can be post processed and then dyed in a range of colours so that patterns and designs can be incorporated into the textile form. As the textile consists of interchangeable links it is a straight forward process to repair and re-purpose the textile. For example, garments can be made to fit the customer simply by removing or adding links to adjust the size and shape, satisfying the emerging demand for bespoke fully fashioned products. Modeclix is a design system that incorporates circular economic factors into the products life-cycle. A garment can be re-purposed to make new garments, accessories, toys or other applications yet to be discovered. The potential to develop the system further through new component parts will also ensure the adaptability and future usability of the textile. New AM parts can extend and enhance the life of the textile at a later date and expand the areas of application. Although fashion, accessories and toys have been the starting point of this research project we have only just begun to realise its full potential across a range of different industries and applications. Modeclix also addresses the need to reduce resources through localised production, product life extension and demand driven manufacture that's both customisable and scalable.