Leveraging a 3D printer “defect” to create a new quasi-textile


Jack Forman

Jack Forman

ByBecky Ham | MIT Media Lab

Sometimes 3D printers mess up. They extrude too much material, or too little, or deposit material in the wrong spot. But what if this bug could be turned into a (fashionable) feature?

Introducing DefeXtiles, a tulle-like textile that MIT Media Lab graduate student Jack Forman developed by controlling a common 3D printing defect — the under-extrusion of polymer filament.

Forman used a standard, inexpensive 3D printer to produce sheets and complex 3D geometries with a woven-like structure based on the “glob-stretch” pattern produced by under-extrusion. Forman has printed these flexible and thin sheets into an interactive lampshade, full-sized skirts, a roll of fabric long enough to stretch across a baseball diamond, and intricately patterned lace, among other items.

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