3D printing on t-shirts

    We all got used to 3D printing for a long time. Most often, the model is printed separately, by itself. Sometimes - on a piece of cloth.

    I had an idea: what if I tried to print something directly on a T-shirt? How real is this, what difficulties may arise?

    I have conducted several experiments and want to share my experience.

    The choice of fabric

    This is fairly obvious, but I still want to warn you that you can only print on cotton. Synthetics and wool will not work: hot plastic will damage them.

    Also, do not print on an existing picture, even though it seems like an interesting idea (to make part of the print volume). In addition to the fact that the paint is likely to deteriorate due to the high temperature, it may dissolve in the molten plastic, and stains will remain on it. It will not be very beautiful. (On the other hand, someone will like it the other way around, so this is ambiguous.)

    T-shirt fixing

    The first problem you encounter is how to fix a T-shirt on the table. This should be done in the tension, otherwise the stretching can damage the picture or tear the fabric.

    Of course you can hold it once or twice, but this is not very convenient, especially if the printer is on the floor. Clips for paper do not give perfect immobility, and the design may be damaged. As a result, during the experiments, double-sided tape turned out to be the most ideal way of fastening.

    Extruder setting

    After fixing the T-shirt, the extruder should be slightly raised, otherwise at the beginning of printing it can touch the fabric and tear it.

    Plastic selection

    Printing with hard plastic such as PLA or ABS is not a good idea: the presence of a pattern on clothing should not cause discomfort and limit the folds of the fabric. Therefore, printing was done by Flex.

    Persistence of result

    The strength of the adhesion pattern with the fabric depends on the print settings and the level of the extruder. Perhaps as a traceless removal, and damage to clothing when trying to do it. The same applies to the effects of washing. Therefore, unfortunately, we cannot do without preliminary experiments and selection of parameters.

    However, if you manage to pick them up so that you can take a picture without damaging the fabric, you will get an interesting opportunity to walk every day with a new unusual print.

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