How to 3D Print on Fabric

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Updated January 20, 2023

If you are new to the world of physical printing, you may wonder how to 3D print on fabric. Some of the best printers, after all, are 3D printers, and these models can sometimes print on a variety of materials instead of a standard print bed. So how do the best 3D printers work, why should you print on fabric, and how to do it? Keep reading to find out.


  • Printing on fabric is an innovative technique that allows you to create brand-new textile types for use in the fashion industry, home goods, and more.
  • Choose the best 3D printing fabric type for your specific printer and for the unique task at hand.
  • The same goes for the type of filament you choose, as some flexible filaments integrate nicely with fabric materials as a print surface during the printing process.

Why Print on Fabric?

Before learning how to fabric print, you may want to learn why people choose this printing material, even if they have already learned how to change 3D printer filament. Combing the versatility of 3D printing with fabric allows for new innovative textile types, even if you are still wondering how tight 3D printer belts should be.

This could be a crafting design project, an interior design project, or a clothing design project, though you will need to learn how to clean a 3D printer when the fabric is involved. Additionally, not all printers can handle fabric as a printing surface, so research how long 3D printers last.

Tips to 3D Print on Fabric

Every 3D printer is unique, as is every fabric-based print job. In other words, the exact process here will change depending on the make and model of your printer and the general intent of the project. With that said, there are some tips worth considering.

Choose the Right Fabric

Not all fabric types integrate with 3D printers, and some fabrics only work with certain printers. You know what that means. Throw on your researcher’s cap and get to work. Check the instructions to see which fabric types integrate with your printer. In many cases, perforated fabric types are your best bet, as there are more grooves for the filament to settle into. Some printers require that fabric be coated with a polymer material.

STAT: You can easily create new shapes or give a new life to your old fabrics with any printer you have. (source)

Choose the Right Filament

You want a filament that will bind with and attach to the fabric without too much resistance. As before, this depends on your printer and the fabric itself. You will have to conduct further research to find the best fit for your setup. In most cases, flexibility is preferred, as the fabric itself is extremely flexible. Go for a flexible TPU filament over a PLA filament for the desired results.

3D Fabric Printing FAQs

What do you need for 3D printing fabric?

You need some heat-sealable fabric, some excess fabric for testing, and, of course, a 3D printer. You may need some fabric glue and other odds and ends.

Can 3D printers print on fabric?

As long as you use heat-sealable fabric and your printer can handle the material, you should be good to go. Just be on the lookout for excess fabric during the printing process.

Should you use fabric glue when 3D printing fabric?

Fabric glue helps the flexible filaments affix to the perforated fabric, though not all printers can handle the adhesive properties of this glue type. Read the instructions to avoid melted filament and other issues.
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