Eric Beaudette ’16 was awarded the Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship earlier this month for 3D printing convertible, sustainable clothing.
Beaudette was one of four recipients of the $30,000 award, which is given annually by the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, according to the University.
Explaining his inspiration for the project, Beaudette said he wanted to “focus on clothing because of the market potential [he] saw for products that are recyclable and customizable.”
“I created ‘Recycl3D’ to redefine activewear as multi-functional, fashion-forward apparel able to keep up with the changing environments and aesthetic needs of the active consumer,” he said.
According to Beaudette, modular accessories on the garments are used to transition clothing from professional clothing to activewear.
“A user can simply attach or remove modular accessories to change the garment’s function and aesthetic,” he said. “The Recycl3D locking technique makes snapping accessories on and off incredibly easy. This small piece is 3-D printed onto the surface of the garment and accessories to allow easy changing between variations.”
Beaudette, a senior in the Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design in the College of Human Ecology, said he began working on his case study for the competition last April. Beaudette said when he began working he envisioned a brand of men’s multi-purpose apparel, created by 3-D body scanning technology and 3-D printing.
Prof. Huiju Park, fiber science and apparel design, a faculty member of the Cornell Performance Apparel Design Lab where Beaudette carries out his work, said the 3-D body scanning technology is unique because it “is capable of demonstrating the rela-tionship between the body and clothing visually and quantitatively.”
“The technology can provide 3-D data of human body and clothing with very accurate measurements, which cannot be achieved by using tape measure,” Park said. “It is non-contact measurement by reflection of light source on the body or clothing surface. So the technology has been used for research on clothing fit and size for mass market or individual customers.”
According to Park, 3-D scanning and printing technology has not yet advanced enough in apparel design to reach a mass market. However, he said recycling 3D printing materials can offer environmental advantages.
“Eric’s idea of recycling 3-D printing materials can also make eco-friendly apparel prototyping and production,” Park said. “Conventional apparel prototyping and production is a very iterative process, consuming a large amount of materials which often end up going to landfills at the end of the material cycle. Recycling 3-D printing can be a new eco-friendly way of apparel product development.”
After winning the competition, Beaudette said he was inspired to further consider the relationship between sustainability and fashion.
“This case study competition opened my eyes to exploring innovations in green manufacturing and integrating technologies in a sustainable way, which I found offers a unique perspective to my designs,” Beaudette said.
In the future, Beaudette said he plans to continue working towards reducing waste in the production process.
“I will be pursuing an independent study in advanced product development this semester, collaborating with either a manufacturer or a company’s design team,” he said. “I hope to create tech packs for producing items, and then see if there is any room for optimization and innovations that could increase efficiency and reduce production waste.”