A Layered Fabric 3D Printer for Soft Interactive Objects


Huaishu Peng (Disney Research Pittsburgh, Cornell University)
Jennifer Mankoff (Carnegie Mellon University)
Scott E. Hudson (Carnegie Mellon University)
Jim McCann (Disney Research Pittsburgh)

ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2015

April 18, 2015

A Layered Fabric 3D Printer for Soft Interactive Objects-Image

3D printed objects from our layered fabric 3D printer: (a) printed fabric Stanford bunny, (b) printed Japanese sunny doll with two materials, (c) printed touch sensor, (d) printed cellphone case with an embedded conductive fabric coil for wireless power reception.

We present a new type of 3D printer that can form precise, but soft and deformable 3D objects from layers of off-the-shelf fabric. Our printer employs an approach where a sheet of fabric forms each layer of a 3D object. The printer cuts this sheet along the 2D contour of the layer using a laser cutter and then bonds it to previously printed layers using a heat sensitive adhesive. Surrounding fabric in each layer is temporarily retained to provide a removable support structure for layers printed above it. This process is repeated to build up a 3D object layer by layer. Our printer is capable of automatically feeding two separate fabric types into a single print. This allows specially cut layers of conductive fabric to be embedded in our soft prints. Using this capability we demonstrate 3D models with touch sensing capability built into a soft print in one complete printing process, and a simple LED display making use of a conductive fabric coil for wireless power reception.

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