PART 4: Printing on other materials than mesh

So, now I had actually succeeded in making a 3D print on fabric, and I wanted to see if I could expand the possibilities.
I had another piece of fabric that I wanted to try to print on. It was a thin and stiff polyester, that was very dense in the weave, which would make it impossible for the PLA to melt onto itself on the other side. I made a new shape based on the Zaha Hadid Prima istallation by the firestation in Basel.

Zaha Hadid 3D-Print

The first test of course turned out to peal off immediately after I took it off the heat bed.

3Dprint_on_fabric Zaha Hadid


Martin and I discussed what we could do to make it stick, and we then came up with the theory, that if we turned the heat up and at the same time turned the speed down, maybe the nozzle would have time to heat up the fabric, and the print could melt directly onto the fabric instead.
This actually turned out to work, and this was definitely one of the larger break throughs for me, because I was now able to print on various kinds of materials, and not only on mesh.


I was still depending very much on Martin helping me make the 3D models on the computer, so I decided that it was time for me to start learning to do it by myself.
Martin recommended me to start out with Blender, which is the most popular 3D design program amongst 3D printing communities.
It is a huge program to learn, and even though I find myself quite good at learning new programs, and I am an advanced user of many of the Adobe programs, it was quite a challenge.
A began by searching for basic tutorials on Youtube, and from then I just sat down and got started.
I still have a lot to learn, and I find that it takes a lot of time and effort, and even though I think I have a basic understanding of the program now, I would still like to get even better at it.
But by browsing tutorial after tutorial, I got good enough to be able to design some simple shapes, which I could try to print out.

One of the first things I made entirely by myself, was a shape that came out of another collage I had made.
I scanned the collage, and opened it in Illustrator, where I made it into simple lines, and saved it as an SVG.
From there I opened the SVG in Blender, and filled out the shapes. I the used the extrude function, to make it some centimeters high. After that I collapsed the shapes into diamond-looking pointed shapes, and saved the file as an STL.
I opened the STL file in ReptierHost, and sliced the file, so it created a GCode.
Before saving the GCode, I manually wrote the pause code into the code after 3rth layer.



Another print I made like this was based on triangles, placed side by side, so the final print was almost like a flexible piece of fabric.


When I started out my journey with 3D printing, I also started an Instagram account, where I put out (and still do) my process and tests, and I had already gotten some followers from the 3D print community.
When I posted this print, it was seen by the big online 3D print community called Maker Addictz, so when they shared my post, I got a lot more followers, and I also got more convinced, that what I was doing was unique and interesting to others!