Stretching the Bounds of 3D Printing with Embedded Textiles

Textiles are an old and well developed technology that have many desirable characteristics. They can be easily folded, twisted, deformed, or cut; some can be stretched; many are soft. Textiles can maintain their shape when placed under tension and can even be engineered with variable stretching ability.

When combined, textiles and 3D printing open up new opportunities for rapidly creating rigid objects with embedded flexibility as well as soft materials imbued with additional functionality. We introduce a suite of techniques for integrating the two and demonstrate how the malleability, stretchability and aesthetic qualities of textiles can enhance rigid printed objects, and how textiles can be augmented with functional properties enabled by 3D printing.

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Rivera, M.L., Moukperian, M., Ashbrook, D., Mankoff, J., Hudson, S.E. 2017. Stretching the Bounds of 3D Printing with Embedded Textiles. To appear in to the annual ACM conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. CHI ‘17. [Paper]