We’ve seen 3D printing make some big waves in the fashion industry and though 3D printing wearables still aren’t a part of our closet, it doesn’t mean we can’t experiment at home! Whether you want to print something fancy on to your boring old t-shirt or are love making your own cosplay armor, 3d printing can give a whole new dimension to a simple fabric. And luckily we have some easy ways for you to join in on the fun!
What do you need?
–PLA or ABS filament.
–A fabric of your choice like cotton, polyester, or blends.
–3D model: Design your own or download them from sites like Thingiverse
–Software of your choice like EasyPrint 3D App
–Fabric glue (optional)
You can directly print onto a fabric of your choice OR first print on to material like tulle/mesh and then sow it on to another. Follow these easy steps 3D print your own designs onto fabric!
1. Choose your design! You can create your own using TinkerCAD or download a cool design from Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory etc. Geometric shapes are some of the best choices especially ones with spaces in between so that your fabric can still be flexible.
2. Using your print software, slice your model and convert it to gCode. An infill of 20-30% should be good enough for most designs.
3. Choose a fabric! Materials like cotton are good since it can easily withstand the temperature of PLA. Smoothen your fabric over the print bed making sure that there are no creases or wrinkles. To make sure that your fabric sticks to the print bed, you can use a double-sided tape or alternatively use clothespin clips to hold the fabric down from the edges of the print bed.
4. The first layer you print will soak into the fabric and bind directly to it. After you’ve checked all the settings, print as you normally would. Just be sure to occasionally check your print to see that the extruder head isn’t pulling the fabric too much.
5. After your print is done, wait for the print to cool and gently remove it from the print bed. And there, you’re all done!
Should you use fabric glue?
Without fabric glue, your print may not be permanently stuck to the fabric below and could peel off if you apply enough force. So make sure to use some fabric glue both on the top as well as under the top surface so that the glue is absorbed through.
If you’re looking for a more full-proof method, check out Uncle Jessy’s awesome tutorial where you can fuse a fabric like mesh or tulle between the layers of your 3D print!
Need a 3d printer to get started? Check out our Store for some great deals!