Spatial printing is the process of producing three-dimensional, physical objects based on a computer model. The first patented technology of 3d print was created in 1986. Since then, this innovative technology has gradually been used in new fields. 3D printing is successfully used in prosthetics, building housing at a very low cost or in the construction of cars. It is also suitable for prototyping as well as mass production.

The use of 3d printing in textiles can completely revolutionize this area of production.

Print your jacket

Dimensional printing technology is recently used in the making of clothes. Those are only ambitious attempts to exploit the potential of 3d printing but it is worth to be interested in them today.

Synthetic materials used for traditional 3d printing are a great difficulty for the development of technology in textile area. Most commont of tchem polylactic acid is not elastic and therefore not comfortable enough to be used as textiles or clothing. The first printed clothes are stiff. They lack space for movement of the limbs and are characterized by air impermeability necessary for comfortable use.

Spatial printing in textiles is still at the conceptual stage. However, today one can see a great potential for development of this direction – based mainly on low costs and high production automation. It seems plausible to try to connect printed panels with traditional fabrics. In addition, designers are working on collection of clothes that is based on the geometry of the sound wave. This allows printed garments to shrink and stretch like a memory foam material. The structure compresses when the user sits down and decompresses when he gets up.

The University of Maryland recently conducted thermal-regulation textiles with use of dimensional printing technology. The textiles were made using printed fibers made of nano-fiber composites with polyvinyl alcohol and boron nitrate. These fibers were then woven into a fabric with a high thermal conductivity which allows the body’s heat to escape. As a result, the user experiences the cooling effect.

3D printing biggest benefits

One of the biggest benefits of using 3D printing in a variety of areas is the fact that no residual material is wasted. With 3d printing, you consume exactly as much as you need. In addition, the procedures that are supported within this technology eliminate many labor-intensive processes from the full clothing production cycle and thus reduce labor costs.

The  biggest obstacle in development of 3d printing technology in textiles is finding the right material. Researches still have to overcome it before printed clothes would be usable. Elastic polymers are already being studied for this purpose, but the industry still needs a larger range of raw materials that can be turned into comfortable and wearable clothing.

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