One of the top tech trends we talked about for 2013 is personalization- the ability to make things completely customized, on-demand.
A fascinating group of business models is emerging in response to new print and visualization technologies, and one of them is Constrvct, a custom clothing company created by two programmers on the East Coast.
The Constrvct concept is that you upload images to create a fabric design and enter your measurements into an interactive 3D model of the garment you choose.
The garment is previewed live in your measurements with the design on it. You can spin the model around to see how your design appears from all angles!
If you like it, you order it, and Constrvct custom digitally prints the fabric, then cuts the pattern- with a laser or plotter- and sews the garment to your measurements.
Both the fabric creation and the pattern for cutting are generated by the 3D model, so that the design lies across the body in the way you choose.
Founders Jenna Fizel and Mary Huang have come up with some other amazing technology-driven fashions, like the world's first ready-to-wear completely 3D-printed garment (the N12 bikini, made in partnership with Shapeways) and 3D-printed shoes.
However, the Constrvct model seems the most commercial. With prices between $125 for a t-shirt to $350 for a sheath dress, it's an experiment within reach of many women and the custom sizing adds tremendous appeal. Of course, the company was started with a Kickstarter, and the rewards included adorable paper dolls !
The concept is community-based, using the crowd-sourced design model that's been so effective for on-demand garment printers like CafePress and votable social design businesses like Threadless and goth-girl favorite ChicStar. Check out the 3D preview, left, and actual dress design, right!
As a socially-driven site that is for-profit, the Constrvct T&C are surprisingly simple. Your designs are viewable by all members, but not for sale to them. I love the Arduino dress, but can't simply click and order it- I'd have to create my own chip design dress. And while other members can't print your dress, Constrvct can. However, you retain ownership of your uploaded images, thus avoiding the Instagram Suicide Note problem.
When I had the T324 logo dress up in my browser, T324 owner David Daniels and store manager Brian Nowell came over and were most impressed- until they heard the price. Obviously, they haven't been buying lady clothes much. For a completely custom garment, Constrvct's prices are reasonable and so are the production times. Plus, if you create a design and submit it to this contest by February 12, you could win one!
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