3D Printing on Textile Fabrics Based on Material Extrusion




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De Montfort University


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Peer reviewed


3D print technology has been developed rapidly since 1984. Now there are many types of 3D printing equipment and different techniques available to create a 3D printed object using additive layer by layer processes. 3 popular printing technologies are SLS (Selective Laser Sintering), FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) and SLA (Stereolithography). Among them, FDM printing technology involves a process where the thermoplastic material is melted and extruded through printing nozzle in a pattern to create the designed object layer by layer. Small desktop FDM equipment becomes popular for domestic uses to create objects due to its low price and easy access to different printing materials. Currently 3D print techniques are extensively used for producing the prototype of products and their designs in manufacturing industry. 3D print technology has also been used to produce textile weaving or knitting structure of materials but they are not comfortable to wear daily. There is limited research and publications for application of 3D printing on textiles or integration of 3D printing into textile fabrics. The current research aims to develop 3D printing technology on textile materials to create textile surface design with specific functionality and to exploit the potential commercial markets for 3D printed textile materials through surveys. The technology of 3D printing to be developed on textile fabrics in the current research was mainly based on FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) using the Ultimaker 3D printer. Printing parameters for textile printing play an important role especially for the adhesion between printed patterns and the surface of the fabrics. The current research resulted in the development of a method for assessing the attachment strength in the interface between printed object and surface of textile fabrics and the understanding of the processes to achieve strong attachment of 3D printed patterns on the fabrics. A wide range of thermoplastic filaments are available for FDM based 3D printing for product design. Characterising the printed materials from 3D printing filaments can identify the properties of each filament in term of the hardness and flexibility of the filaments for their applications. In the current work, different filaments (PLA, Nylon,ABS, BendLay, TPU-A, TPU-B and PLA Conductive) were assessed for their application on textile fabrics. Durable to wash and re-usability of garments are the desired properties for sustainable textile material. 3D printed garments need to meet the requirement of durability to wash. In the current work, the quality and the performance of 3D printing on textile fabrics were investigated in term of dimensional stability and sufficient attachment of the printed patterns on the fabrics via visual and haptic inspection through 10 washing cycles. The current work also demonstrated the ability to create different design patters in 3D on the fabrics. FDM technology allow the development of novel patterns and constructed patters to be printed on textile fabrics that would be impossible to create with conventional methods. High quality of 3D patterns with precise and detail design can be printed on textile fabrics in strong attachment durable to wash. The current research from the questionnaire survey also shows could the potential for the commercial markets towards 3D surface patterning on textile fabrics created by 3D printing in fashion industry.





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