3D Printing with Thermoplastic Polyurethane To Make Fabric

September 25, 2015

Written By Hannah Rose Mendoza Via 3DPrint.com

Israeli architect David Mussaffi is more than just a 3D print enthusiast, he’s a dedicated 3D print designer with an expert eye for fashion. Last year, he won second place in the Thingiverse #TrexRemix Challenge for his T-Rex High Heel which has the wearer placing her foot in the gaping maw of the carnivore as an intimidating set of teeth bristle threateningly from the surrounding jaw bone.

His latest 3D print creation springs from a material exploration using thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), a filament that prints at an extrusion temperature of 200-220° Celsius (392-428° Fahrenheit). Mussaffi wanted to use this filament to create prints thin enough to be considered a type of fabric.

The idea of printing fabric is not new. In May the Electroloom, a 3D printer that has the ability to 3D print fabric using a process similar to metal electroplating, was introduced to the world through Kickstarter. The Electroloom was an exploration in the creation of a machine that would print in a particular form that would create the process for fabricating flexible, soft fabric with a 3D printer. Mussaffi’s project uses a standard 3D printer and investigates the possibilities for a particular material to become fabric-like.

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