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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.
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.
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.
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)
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.