Fabdesigns Inc., Encino, Calif., has taken delivery of one of the first Stoll ADF3 machines in the U.S. The company says they have already been engineering and prototyping new, advanced integrated textiles using conductive fibers, vertical and horizontal inlay combinations, advanced spacer technology, integrated wiring and digitally distributed UHMWPE for protective gear and others.
“With the direct yarn feed, we can now more easily embed components, integrate sensors, and create suspension supports. The vertical inlays are just the beginning of the world this machine opens to us, our clients and eventually the world of consumers,” says Bruce Huffa, owner and executive engineer. “Not everything needs to be yarns on this machine technology. It allows us to get creative with what we have. This is truly creating smart textiles.
“Simply put, this machine gives us vertical, horizontal, thickness, and diagonal controls of fabrics. The industry has just started to embrace 3D knitting, but this machine gives us many more dimensions. The new yarn distribution systems allow the ability to digitally control tensions on every row, and we’re working on controlling every needle. It’s still early, but this will be incredible technology for medical compression products and our aerospace clients who use interesting fibers. Imagine digitally controlling compression for diabetics, and functional healing of wound care.”
The company has been engineering complex textiles since 1988, and currently develops proprietary products for clients in outdoor sports, medical, aerospace, home furnishings, entertainment, and footwear markets. “Companies are requesting development and proof of concepts in wearable technology, interactive textiles and fully integrated materials,” Connie Huffa, company president and textile engineer, says. “We are exploring new aesthetics and at the same time solving their practical matters of function.”