Tessa’s Weekly Picks – 3D Printed on Fabric


Tessa Blokland  


It has been more than four years since I have written a blog post on 3D printed fabrics. Nevertheless in the main while, there have been quite some interesting developments and experiments with 3D printing on fabrics. One company that really stands out in these developments is – in my modest opinion – Stratasys Art, led by Stratasys’ Creative Director Naomi Kaempfer. She has been working with 3D printing since 2003, starting at Materialise, founded .MGX by Materialise and since 2014 at Stratasys. With her design background – Kaempfer studied industrial engineering and finished her master’s at Design Academy Eindhoven – she successfully brings together creation, innovation, and technology, offering technological advancement, but also philosophical and cultural growth. You can imagine the majority of this week’s picks are from her collaborations.

However, the first example of 3D printing on fabric comes from LABELEDBY, a research and technological development studio, based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Their 3D-printing experience lab, supported by MRE, is located at the Fashion Tech Farm, also in Eindhoven. What you see here is a detail of three-dimensional shape created by 3D printing on tule, created with an Ultimaker 3D printer. Check out their Instagram account for more images of this work.

This is a 3D printed detail of Julia Koerner‘s Arid collection, featured in the first blog post of February. The structure was 3D printed without any support material and directly on sustainable fabrics and in multicolor. When the garment is in motion, it creates a visual effect while maintaining the comfort and wearability of fabric garments. The structure was printed with 3DF Polyjet printer by Stratasys.

The mesmerizing effect of these 3D printed drops on fabric is designed by US design trio threeASFOUR and designer Travis Fitch in collaboration with Stratasys Art. Inspired by the play of light in butterfly wings, the designers translated this effect by 3D printing spherical, fish skin-sized cells onto the fabric that consist of a clear lens, with two strips of color underlying it. Because of this technique, the color of the dress shifts with each diminutive change of angle of illumination, creating an iridescent and mesmerizing display of golden-blue color diversity, according to the website. The fabric is produced on a Stratasys J850 3D Printer.

The last two examples are from London-based fashion and textile designer Ganit Goldstein. In both projects, Goldstein 3D printed directly on fabric to add extra esthetic layering onto an existing fabric. What you see on the image is a detail of 3 printed materials on fabric which resulted in a kimono-like garment combining 3D printing with embroidery (see top image). The fabric is produced in collaboration with Stratasys.

The detail in the last image is called Re-Textile 3D. Goldstein designed this fully recycled 3D printed outfit, “based on specific body measurements using 360-degree body scanner and produced directly onto recycled SEAQUAL fabric made from ocean waste twisted yarn, using 100% re-used recycled filament.”

LEO Lane_Weekly Pick_3D Printed on Fabric

Each of Tessa’s weekly picks is a curated group of 3D printed designs, based on the week’s chosen theme. If you would like to offer a theme for Tessa, or if you have your 3D printed weekly picks you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest weekly picks every week in your mailbox.


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