DefeXtilesJack Forman, Mustafa Doga Dogan, Hamilton Forsythe, and Hiroshi Ishii / 2020


DefeXtiles are thin, flexible textiles of many materials that can quickly be printed into a variety of 3D forms using an inexpensive, unmodified, 3D printer with no additional software.

This is achieved by using the material properties to encode the textile form: specifically using the periodic gaps that emerge when not enough material is being used to print. The printer moves and prints the same as it would a solid, rigid sheet, but by leveraging the stringing behavior that occurs in thermoplastic filament we can encode small gaps that afford the stretchability and flexibility.
In a sense, the machine and the material are co-fabricating the form:

the printer—the macroscopic form,

the material—the microscopic form

The simplicity of this approach is what makes it so powerful. We are able to 3D print dresses for clothing design prototyping, tough badminton shuttlecocks, full-sized garments—such as a skirt—to help users “try on” clothes before ordering online, interactive lamps that turn on/off and change brightness when deformed, and a 70m roll of fabric produced in a single uninterrupted print.


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