3D printing is an emergent technology which when combined with established textile processes offers the opportunity for a new method of textile production. By emulating the structures of knit through the use of 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) it is possible to print 3D structures which embed knit’s inherent properties of stretch and flexibility whilst exploiting the mechanical properties of the material used to print with. This offers the possibility to create novel forms with innovative applications. The research will take the four primary structures of knit (plain knit, purl knit, rib and interlock) as the starting point to develop a body of 3D printed textile based structures. This ‘material proposal’ (Karana et al, 2015) will be explored in synthesis with knit’s inherent properties of stretch and flexibility, an aspect currently unexploited in 3D printed textiles.
This practice-based enquiry examines design and manufacturing possibilities using 3D printed PET filament for menswear. rPET filament is a recycled material usually made from plastic bottles, in this enquiry I will test the feasibility of recycled polyester clothing. ‘Closed Loop’ is a complex system involving a seamless interaction between manufacture, consuming and recycling.
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