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Fabricademy 2017

week 6 - Computational Couture

Exploration of computational design methods to recreate cloths, garnments and accessories.


Design a Grasshopper 3D pattern and print it using one of the methods approached in class.


I was inspired by the 3D printed textiles that were present in the FabLab. My goal was to create a flexible 3D printed textile using a parametric pattern.



fig 6.1 - 3D printed fabrics in FabLab.

fig 6.2 - Inspirational image from the web.

Designing the module

To design the module I started by sketching some interlocking possibilities following the concept of a chain. I chose to interlock 4-petals flowers with circle shown in fig. 6.3. To start the drawing in Rhino, I drew a diamond and divided it 4 to create reference points. Then, using Grasshopper I drew a curve polyline using these points as referece. Next, I made a pipe following this line, and added a parameter to control the radius of the pipe. Moving the reference points up and down I could create the one-3Dline form that I wanted (fig 6.4). With the array parameter I could control the amount of rows and columns of the model I wanted and I added the scale parameter to control the size of the module. After that I made the circle array following the same process.



fig 6.4 - Flower shaped module.

fig 6.3 - 3D printed fabrics in FabLab.

fig 6.5 - Flower and circle pattern.

fig 6.6 - Flower and circle pattern Grasshopper parameters.

Unfortunately the results were not quite as I expected for the cicle looked too big in comparison to the flower. I decided to try using only the flower. The results were much more pleasant. I then adjusted the reference point in order to leave a space between the interlaced modules, so that they can become loose after 3Dprinting, creating the flexibility in the pattern that I wanted initially. 


fig 6.7 - Flower only pattern.

fig 6.8 - Flower only pattern Grasshopper parameters.

3D printing

To prepare the file to print it is necessary to "bake" the parameters in Grasshopper. This would transfor the model into a 3D objets and it will not be parametric anymore. Then the model has to be exported in .stl format and opened in the Cura software, in which I prepared the printing settings.

In Cura, Jonathan Yen helped me setting the best configuration for my model. I chose to print in the Ultimaker 2+ which had 0.4 mm nozzel. The layer height should be 0.2 mm (half the nozzel). Since my model is a chain, which thickness is not so big, the infill should be 100% to make the material stronger. In addition, my model needed a support, for it doesn't touch entirely the plate surface, and a raft to help the materal adhesion to the plate. We also added the "avoid printed partes when traveling" option, which means that the needle will not crash with a printed part. When the settings were ready, I saved it in the printer memory card to open the file in the printer. 

Before starting it is better to cober the bed (plate surface) with a tape to help the material adhesion to the bed. 

After the model was printed, gladly with no errors. I removed the raft and spent a long time to carefully remove the support with pliers. The result was very pleasing and the modules were loose from one another giving the pattern some flexibility as expected from the initial idea.


fig 6.9 - Setting the printing configurations in Cura.

fig 6.10 - Printing the model starting by the raft.

fig 6.11 - Printing finished

fig 6.12 - Support to be removed

fig 6.14 - Results: parametric textile.

fig 6.13 - Flexibility of the pattern.

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