Tech In Action: 3D knitting hits retail
A handful of retailers (including Adidas) are experimenting with on-demand production at retail locations.
It’s drastically less high-tech than 3D printing, but fast-knitting robots have popped up at a few fashion retailers as a way for customers to get customized apparel.
The Boston-based Ministry of Supply can produce a customized knit blazer in approximately 90 mins (pictured above), while Adidas has created a pop-up in Berlin offering Merino wool products that can be custom fit (if you’re willing to strip down to your undies and get scanned by lasers).
Both products retail for over $200, and Adidas reports selling about 10 of its sweaters on a good day. And as Quartz.com points out, this alters the formula retailers use to determine their profitability on a per-square-foot basis (one machine can, potentially, sell more sweaters from its footprint than could be displayed there in a day). The machines themselves cost approximately $200,000 USD, but broad adoption tends to breed competition and lower prices. Adidas, at least, is considering expanding the project.