Digital printer manufacturer Kornit Digital has acquired Voxel8, a specialist in technology for on-demand textile production that “enables the digital creation of unique decorative and functional applications while eliminating time and waste”.

Voxel8’s digital printing technology features zonal control of the material properties of textiles and can be used to add 3D embellishments and aesthetic features including colour. It allows for the customisation of each individual print, tailoring the performance and aesthetic of the textile to the individual or application.

Using an additive process that produces less waste, Massachusetts-based Voxel8 has developed a 65% bio-based material that reduces the carbon footprint.

The technology can improve the functional performance of textiles making them more abrasion resistant, adding support or impact resistance, cushioning elements or grip features, especially suitable for sportswear and footwear.

Kornit Digital’s chief executive officer Ronen Samuel said: “Voxel8’s innovative technologies and talent will help us accelerate the execution of our 4.0 strategy to digitise sustainable, on-demand textile production.

“With this advanced and proven 3D technology, we will disrupt the business of fashion, empowering completely new creative decorative concepts and never-before-seen functional textile applications, while exploring new lucrative opportunities in the functional apparel and footwear markets.”

Kobi Mann, Kornit Digital’s chief technology officer, added: “By integrating Voxel8’s technology into Kornit’s product roadmap, we will be able to transform numerous market segments and verticals, accelerating our collective visions and technology advancements.

“Voxel8 offers direct 3D print-on-part capabilities, advanced design software that can be easily integrated with any production floor software workflow, and versatile chemistry enabling on-the-fly formulation of high-performance elastomers to change the material properties of the resulting printed structures by multiple orders of magnitude.

“This means reflective, high-density, silicone and metallics, as well as compression elements for sports and therapeutics, protection elements like cushioning and impact resistance, and functionality applications like anti-slip, waterproofing, and other qualities combining form and function that are key to Kornit’s vision of digitising production in every conceivable manner.”

Fred von Gottberg, Voxel8’s president and chief executive officer, explained: “Voxel8’s innovative and sustainable technology – tested by some of the world’s leading global fashion and footwear brands, such as Hush Puppies, which is part of Wolverine Worldwide – enables the digital creation of unique decorative and functional applications while eliminating time and waste from the manufacturing process.

“Voxel8 shares Kornit’s vision of transforming the textile industry and couldn’t be more excited to be part of the journey to build the operating system of sustainable fashion on demand.

“We look forward to working together to embed Voxel8’s technology into Kornit’s customer offerings, which will collectively provide endless possibilities of enhanced applications and solutions.”

Kornit Digital develops, manufactures and markets industrial digital printing technologies for the garment, apparel and textile industries including digital printing systems, inks, consumables, software and after-sales support.