How to 3D Print onto Fabric

You can combine 3D printed designs with fabric to create exciting new textiles. It’s a really interesting process that has a lot of possibilities still to be discovered. In this Instructable, I will show you how to print on three different kinds of fabric: power mesh, heat-sealable nylon, and cotton/poly broadcloth. 3D prints on power-mesh can be seen in contemporary projects. The heat-sealable and woven cotton/poly is what I chose to experiment with, I particularly wanted to figure out how to print on a woven fabric. Some things didn’t work but some worked beautifully. I show you what did and go over some of what did not.

The printer I use is a MakerBot Replicator 2 with TPU (flexible) filament from Sainsmart. PLA can be used for all of these techniques except I found that it did not stick to the heat-sealable fabric I used. I encourage you to try it out on other heat-sealable fabrics and report back. 🙂

It’s a technique that has been explored all over the world and has been discussed and experimented with for longer than you may think. There is still much to be explored so follow along and get hooked on a new technique!

Make your own!