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3D Printing Flexible Textile Structures



NEW YORK 2014:12-15 February 


The Flexible Textile Structure is a research by Negar Kalantar and Alireza Borhani in collaboration with the DREAMS Lab at Virginia Tech. Flexible textile structures is an exploration into printed fabrics. The prototypes were generated by Rhino, Grasshopper and SolidWorks CAD softwares and fabricated with two additive manufacturing approaches, Powder Bed Fusion Process and  FDM Process.

The main design goal is designing a fabric that has both flexibility and rigidity. The fabric can be easily manipulated into a fixed shape due to interference among the links of the printed textile. This research has potential applications in several domains such as medical, textile and fashion industries.


The invention of this project was guided by the question, “How to design  3D printed textiles that can be flexible and rigid at the same time?” The main design challenge of Flexible Textile Structures was changing the property of rigid material by design and 3D printing manufacturing.

The research resulted in several designs and printed prototypes, which can be seen in this video.  The video, which captured the project’s intersection of design and manufacturing, was virally promoted in professional media (e.g., blog posts related to 3D Printing). The article was the most read article on during the week of February 1. 


The [trans]LAB has been invited to attend and present the result of the research at the 3D Printshow and involve in a very high profile panel discussing material development in the field of 3D printed and computational fashion  in New York in February 12-15. 3D Printshow brings together the biggest names in 3D printing technology alongside the most creative, exciting and innovative individuals using additive processes today. The show offered an incredible range of specialized content and it is a great opportunity for our group to present the outcome of the research and develop connections and receive feedback from the industry and the market.

Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology (ICAT) sponsored the team for attending the New York 3D Printshow since the research was align with the mission of ICAT to promote new trans-disciplinary research domains that transcend institutionalized boundaries between science, engineering, art, and design.




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