For those interested in what makes the DARPA hoodie tick, we interviewed Otherlab’s Jonathan Bachrach.
Betabrand: Could you explain the technology that created this hoodie?
Bachrach: My end-to-end software tool chain takes 3D surface files and produces 2D vector files with nested flat parts with all the necessary part numbers, bend lines, angles and joinery ready to cut and easy to assemble.
The bend and joinery mechanisms are completely customizable for the particular material type and desired look such as pop rivets, welded seams, and press fit.
The tool creates the opportunity for greatly lowering the time of manufacturing and for creating a unique algorithmic design quality.
The 2D panels are created based on a customizable goodness measure that first ensures that panels are flattenable with low distortion and from there guides the formation of panels towards a user’s desired shape, for example, equal sized, fewest number, etc.
We have previously applied this algorithm towards making a better t-shirt and more recently have been working with Betabrand on making a hoodie.
For clothing, the automatic panelizer opens up the possibility for custom clothing and better fits for stiffer materials.
The hoody was created algorithmically from a 3D triangular mesh for an average six foot male, downsampled to 100 triangles, deconstructed into 12 panels of high grade nylon, and finally sewn together with externally visible red thread.
Betabrand: The government was fine with you finding other, non-military applications for the software?
Bachrach: They not only were fine but encouraged it. They spend a huge amount of time and money on building prototypes, and any technology that reduces time and money spent would be a huge win for them. They thought our toys are a great demonstration of programmable matter and that the hoodie would be a good demonstration for how clothing or armour could be designed and constructed.
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