Carnegie Mellon research project combines 3D printing with embedded textiles | 7/3/2017 | Staff
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Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the Rochester Institute of Technology have developed a set of techniques for combining 3D printing with embedded textiles. The techniques can create “rigid objects with embedded flexibility” and “soft materials imbued with additional functionality.”

It looks like a match made in heaven: textiles, packed with desirable characteristics like stretchability, twistability, and foldability, can maintain their shape when placed under tension and can be engineered with precise levels of stretchiness; 3D printing, a modern manufacturing process, can produce functional, rigid objects with complex geometries.


Combine the two and you’d think you could make some pretty amazing things, right?

That very task was the subject of a recent study carried out at Carnegie Mellon University. In the study, which has been published in Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, researchers attempted show how the “malleability, stretchability, and aesthetic qualities” of textiles can enhance rigid 3D printed objects.

Study - Researchers - Procedures - Attempts - Textiles

In the study, the researchers carried out various experimental procedures, including attempts to stiffen textiles by 3D printing plastic elements onto them. This involved attempting to overcome the challenges of printing on non-plastic textile substrates: often, the researchers would have to secure fabric to the print bed or other surfaces to stop it sliding around when printed on.

But despite the challenges faced when mixing 3D printed plastics with textiles, the researchers managed to produce...
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