I love 3D printing. It is so versatile, but I want it to be more wearable, flexible, and fun! I create biometric fashions and I’m always experimenting with materials. In the human body, we need joint material between the bones. If 3D prints are like bones, then we need a flexible joint material to be wearable on the body. The Objet printer has rubber joint material, but that is tricky to find the correct ratio and the material does not last long. It can only bend so many times before it tears.
I have tried a few substrates. With my NeurotiQ design, I knitted fiber optics to embed the 3D prints in. Now with the AWElectric design, I developed this new technique of 3D printing into fabric. I tried many different fabrics and made a lot of “creative” 3D-printed art squiggles. After the experiments, I found Power Mesh Lycra fabric and PLA filament to be amazing cohorts. Power Mesh is durable (mostly nylon) and it’s porous, so you can print into the fabric. And it seems to melt a little bit, so the filament fuses with the fabric. Works great!
The printers we worked with are the Makerbot Replica and then the RepRap.
» Model a design
» Separate the G-code into 2 parts to make a fabric sandwich
» Print 3 bottom layers
» Lay the fabric on and tape down the edges with painter’s tape
» Print the top layer.
The hexagon construction of the Goosebump Fractals is a digital representation of skin cells, inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes and the machine gesture of polygons (that is, the polygonal structures from the architectural interface of 3D modeling). Originally, this 3D-printed design was made to cover a silicone inflatable and expand when the “goosebump” sensation is detected by biosensors. The inflation opens the hexagon into 6 triangles to animate the hair follicles. After printing the design, I realized it is almost better to have the fabric articulate on the joints of the body. It is more dynamic.
AWElectric — Bio Elektrisch
In a dialog of art and science, Sensoree’s therapeutic biomedia – emotional technology – animates the intense emotions that trigger goosebumps and sends them remotely to another. Inspired by the phrase, “That gave me goosebumps. Did you feel it too?” AWElectric detects the feeling of awe, amplifies it, and shares it with a friend. A series of biosensors – GSR excitement, breathing depth and rate, and heart rate variability – reads the emotional peak of wonder and fear and triggers inflatable 3D-printed goosebumps. Then, that sensation is sent to another person via sound fabric. Embroidered speakers play the frequency to make hair stand on end.
More info and credits:
Thanks to MU Artspace for commissioning the work.
Kristin Neidlinger – Concept Design
Edwin Dertien – Creative Technology Inflatables
David Goedicke – Creative Technology Sound
Elena Mitro – 3d Model
Colin Willson – 3d Print Tech
Loe Fiejs – Sound Fabric
Bin Yu – Biosensing