3D Printable Cloth?

Source: Hackaday 3D Printable Cloth?

When Defects Are Your Friend

Over at Hackaday is some news about an interesting use of 3D printers, creating objects which behave more like cloth than a solid object.  The technique makes use of the blob-stretch that is usually the bane of 3D printing, when you end up with a glob of material with a thin string connecting to another glob and so on, as opposed to a solid smooth print.

This DefeXtiles process purposefully forces the printer to make these flaws, which results in a flexible end product which you can carefully fold or bend.  As the connecting string of material is not quite as strong as normal cloth, let alone a solidly printed object some care should be taken not to break all the stretched material, but as there are quite a few threads it won’t immediately fall apart.

The video demonstrations feature a printed dress, a 70m long roll of fabric and a malleable spiral, all with a thickness less than 0.4mm.  These came out of a 3D printer with no physical modifications, just code changes to convince the printer to do what normally you would not want it to.  There is, as of yet, no STL or G-code files available to try this out for yourself, but programming it shouldn’t be too hard for anyone familiar with their printer.

Normally, a 3D printer that under extrudes is a bad thing. However, MIT has figured out a way to deliberately mix full extrusions with under extruded layers to print structures that behave more like cloth than normal 3D printed items.

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About The Author

Jeremy Hellstrom

Call it K7M.com, AMDMB.com, or PC Perspective, Jeremy has been hanging out and then working with the gang here for years. Apart from the front page you might find him on the BOINC Forums or possibly the Fraggin' Frogs if he has the time.

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