Digital Fabric Printer

Project Title: Digital Fabric Printer

Project Lead’s Name: Della Reams

Email: dreams@miamioh.edu

Phone: (586) 381-8634

Please Choose the Primary Affiliation: CCA

Are There Other Project Team Members?: Yes

Other Project Team Member: Dr. Leslie Stoel

Other Team Member Email Address: stoelld@miamioh.edu

Brief description of project: The Fashion Industry, also known as the Global Textile and Apparel Complex, is defined as the interaction of the design, product development, and merchandising processes, to retail organizational structures and formats, and to channels of distribution in a global market place. It is a growing industry, and valued from various sources at 2-3 trillion dollars per year globally.

The new interdisciplinary Fashion Program, a collaboration of the Farmer Business School and College of Creative Arts, is a rapidly growing program with recent full approval of a revised Fashion Minor as well as a Fashion Co-major with three tracks: Fashion Design, Fashion Corporate Business, and Fashion Entrepreneurship. The program owes its existence to the demands of Miami's largest student organization, the 250+ member Miami University Fashion & Design (MUF&D), which was established 11 years ago and produces an annual fashion show of student work. This program started with 0 students three years ago, and now it is filled to current capacity, with 200 students and a waiting list. Two new Fashion Studios have been renovated in Boyd Hall by the College of Creative Arts. However, with demand growing, the purchase of additional equipment is essential to maintain the exciting momentum of this program.

This proposal is a request for funds to acquire a Mimaki TX300P-1800 Textile Direct-to-Fabric Digital Printer and a Calender Infra-Red Heat Transfer System Drum (rotary heat press to make the printing permanent and washable), along with base, computer, startup supplies, installation and training. The 75" wide printer will print any design on cotton, silk and other fibers, using an infinite quantity of colors. This printer will be used by many of the fashion design students, MUF&D fashion designers and other CCA students and faculty (including a great deal of interest from the Theater Department for use in the design and execution of theatrical costume production). This printer would also be incorporated into a proposed Printed Textile Design course.

Because the ability to design and create original textiles can greatly expand the ability to design innovative fashions, Fabric Print Design is an important element of a 21st century Fashion Design program. The acquisition of this equipment will make our facilities more competitive with our peer Ohio fashion programs, such as Kent State and DAAP at the University of Cincinnati. Yet our program will still be unique, because these competing programs focus primarily on design, rather than design and artful construction techniques combined with business training. The availability of advanced industry technologies is essential to help us attract promising Fashion Design students to the program. In addition, having this equipment will entice employers to look more strongly at the graduating students from our Fashion Program.

Does this project focus on graduate student education or graduate student life?: No

If yes, please explain: At this point no, but it very well may in the future.

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem.: The problem we face now is that additional technology equipment is needed to provide students with the 21st century design skills needed in modern fashion design studios. Donor funds provided only the basic equipment needed to teach students the fundamentals of fashion design and construction. The purpose of this proposal is to help us fund the next phase of technology equipment needed for the Fashion curriculum. Our approach is to use technology fee funds to furnish modern textile making equipment that will expand the possibilities of creativity for The Fashion Minor and Co-major, the members of the MUF&D Design Committee, and other CCA students and faculty. Although we are actively fund-raising to address the critical need for technical equipment to support these new programs, external funding will only partially meet these needs.

The criteria state that technology fee projects should benefit students in innovative and/or significant ways. How would you describe the innovation and/or significance of your project?: One of the biggest challenges we face in serving our fashion students is that so very few have had any training in sewing, garment construction, or manufacturing. Many are even unfamiliar with doing any kind of work with their hands. A significant problem in the industry today is that so many college graduates in the US enter the fashion industry with a complete inability to work with their hands and no appreciation of the labor-intensive nature of fashion products. While some may think the new fashion curriculum harkens back to the days of home sewing, they are sorely mistaken. The skills provided to students in our curriculum are 21st century skills due to the modern equipment we are requesting, our multidisciplinary approach, and the business background we are providing. Students in the Fashion Program come from multiple majors/colleges across campus and this equipment will enable students from diverse academic backgrounds to understand the complex processes involved in the production of fashion products. These skills are important for gaining a vocabulary of the processes necessary to the work, so that they will understand how to communicate clearly and effectively with those in the manufacturing process. This vocabulary can only become engrained by actually practicing the skills. This approach will enable Miami fashion graduates to tackle the tough problems in the industry now and in the future, problems such as the creation of automated manufacturing processes that can be integrated with artful construction techniques, interactive media apps that create customized garments/pieces based on the unique needs of a person, or the integration of technology into fabrics/garments to create smart apparel. The liberal education focus at Miami, combined with the design and functional training provided in our Fashion Program will produce students well-prepared to be innovators in the fashion industry.

How will you assess the project?: Student outcomes will be assessed using portfolios. A key component of each fashion class will be additions to the student's developing portfolio demonstrating evidence of their new skills. Each student will create a final portfolio that demonstrates his or her skills in the Senior Portfolio class. The faculty will examine the portfolios for skill, originality and professionalism. Value will be evident to students when they successfully execute the student-led design show each year (inclusive of all marketing, publicity and other elements) and via job placement upon graduation.

Have you applied for and/or received Tech Fee awards in past years?: Yes

If funded, what results did you achieve?: We applied and were not funded.

Did you submit a final report?: No

What happens to the project in year two and beyond? Will there be any ongoing costs such as software or hardware maintenance, supplies, staffing, etc.? How will these be funded?: If this equipment is funded, CCA will provide funds for supplies and any maintenance required in the future.

Budget: Software, Hardware, Contractual Services/Installation/Shipping/Maintenance

Hardware Title(s) & Vendor(s): ITNH, Inc. Mimaki TX 300 printer and Micro Center computer

Hardware Costs: $61,936.00

Software Title(s) & Vendor(s): ITNH, Inc. TxLink3 Standard Edition RIP software

Software Costs: $6,999.00

Contractual Services/Installation/Shipping/Maintenance: installation, Shipping, extended warranty, supplies

Contractual Services, etc. Costs: $13,559.00

What is the total budget amount requested?: $82,494.00

Comments: ITNH is the printer supplier. Their web address is: www.itnh.com Micro Center is computer supplier. Their web address is: www.microcenter.com