Apr 17, 2015

Disney develops innovative textile 3D printer for soft objects

Disney researchers have developed a completely new 3d printing technology for making soft objects out of textile. They call it "Layered Fabric 3D Printer for Soft Interactive Objects". It works by laser cutting fabric layer form a continuous band and then binding them with heat sensitive glue.

Video of it in action:

Description from the project page:

We present a new type of 3D printer that can form precise, but soft and deformable 3D objects from layers of off-the-shelf fabric. Our printer employs an approach where a sheet of fabric forms each layer of a 3D object. The printer cuts this sheet along the 2D contour of the layer using a laser cutter and then bonds it to previously printed layers using a heat sensitive adhesive. Surrounding fabric in each layer is temporarily retained to provide a removable support structure for layers printed above it. This process is repeated to build up a 3D object layer by layer.
Our printer is capable of automatically feeding two separate fabric types into a single print. This allows specially cut layers of conductive fabric to be embedded in our soft prints. Using this capability we demonstrate 3D models with touch sensing capability built into a soft print in one complete printing process, and a simple LED display making use of a conductive fabric coil for wireless power reception.
Project homepage:

Detailed PDF paper: