3d printing on fabric ( Tulle or Tule )
It is totally possible to print 3d shapes directly onto fabric. For this I have used Tulle or Tule (see here).
Here are the steps I have taken to get to the desired result:
* I got some piece of tulle. This can be found in any good Fabric Shop. I live in Amsterdam so I got mine here . Cost: 3eur.
* A standard 3d printer that allows print pause. Important is that the print bed is easily accessible so to clip the tulle onto the print bed.
* The filament used is PLA. Easiest of all filament. Melts at a lower temperature than others (like ABS).
* First cut out a piece of tulle. It has to be just that big bigger than you printing bed.
* Clip the fabric onto the print bed BEFORE you start printing. Preferrably on the side of the print bed.
* Go to Tinkercad and create a file with anyshape you want. Square, circle..I used hexagonal shape. These are the shapes you will want to print on the fabric.
* Start the print on your 3d machine. Print at least 3 layers and PAUSE the print.
* Take the fabric and stretch it over the print. TAKE CARE NOT TO MOVE THE PRINT BED.
* Tight the fabric with clips. On all side, whenever that is possible. Do not overstrecht it. it has to lay flat.
* Resume printing. Monitor the first layers closely as these are when the fabric will be sandwhiched onto the fabric. This is a key moment.
* When print ends, best is to wait for the print bed to cooldown. It will be easier to remove the bottom piece of the print and so not to break the fabric when removing it ( Tulle is not the strongest of fabric ).
Tulle is polyester and that melts quite quickly however in this case with PLA, the fabric did not melt. As it is very thin material the nozzle glides on the fabric.
This page explains a step by step of this project. This is where I got my inspiration for setting up the project of 3d printing on fabric.