image provider

Custom Clothes


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

The Problem

The current method of clothing retailing has a number of problems:

The Solution

This is a very ambitious project. You might like to tackle just a tiny piece of it. Some of the pieces are:
  1. Measuring: this would probably be done the traditional way with a tape measure taking sufficient measurements to create a 3D model of the client.
  2. Creating a 3D model of the exposed body parts of the client, perhaps using a laser scanner or image analysis.
  3. Huge library of styles in digital form that can be rendered to fit the client’s body.
  4. Clothing visualisation: You let the client sit at a computer and play dress-up doll trying on clothes on a 3-D realistic, animated representation of themselves. The customer can fine tune designs, decorations, fabrics, durability etc.
  5. Electronic order system to schedule workers all over the world to actually create the garments.
  6. Conversion of electronic patterns and client measurements to geometry of the various pieces needed and optimal cutting of fabric to dovetail orders to avoid wasting fabric.
  7. Electronic tracking of cut parts automated collecting into bundles needed to create a single garment and delivering them to a worker with the sewing machine.
  8. Manual sewing the parts together, though that too will eventually fall to automation.
  9. System to deliver the finished garment to the customer efficiently.
You might optionally skip sewing the parts together and ship just the pieces and let the customer do the sewing.

A more advanced version of this uses a sort of mechanical spider to weave garments in a single piece. They would continously vary the composition of the thread, e.g. more absorbent in the arm pits, more stretchy in the middle of the back. The thread would be coloured by ink-jet dyes as it was woven to create the colours and patterns. Such a device would could sit in the shop window entertaining customers.

End of Oil

The end of oil will mean it will become much less economic to ship goods all over the planet. They will have to be created nearby the consumer. You might start thinking about a weaving/knitting machine that creates fabrics on demand, in the shapes desired with smooth, rather than cut edges. These might be sewn together by the consumer or a local worker with the sewing machine.

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