June 27, 2014

The rise of 3D printing technology is taking the fashion world by storm. Royal College of Art (RCA) graduate Oluwaseyi Sosanya has come up with a unique creation: He has created a beautiful loom designed for weaving in three dimensions using the x y and z coordinates.

The 3D Weaver was designed for Sosanya's The Structure of Protection graduate project. Similar as 3D printing's layer process, Sosanya's concept weaves together layers of material at different heights to create 3D shapes. Once the design is woven it can then be dipped in silicone to make it stronger.

Sosanya visited fabric mills in the North of England to research mechanical weaving practices. He then wrote a computer software that allows any strong geometry to be split into layers and woven and he has a patent pending on this technology. Sosanya explained his inspiration to Dezeen.

"I looked at a few different machines when designing this one and got most inspiration from a sewing machine and an industrial knitting machine. Both of these machines allow thread to move freely through the mechanics using springs and guiding to hold the tension. With the 3D Weaver, once the first row is layered, the thread maintains its tension, due to guide tubes and a initial winding of the thread programmed to run before the weaving of each structure. I coded a bit of software that allows any solid geometry to be split into layers and woven."

To demonstrate the capabilities of the machine, Sosanya has woven a shoe sole as an example. The sole was made from a single steady thread, and woven from a combination of cotton, paper, and wool. Then it was dipped in silicone to keep its shape and make it stronger.

"The reason for using the materials I have chosen was to keep flexibility in the pieces," the designer told Dezeen. "Their behavior is solely dependent on the structures. Both thread and binder work together to hold the structure. A continuous fibre running though the piece provides more stability with less mass."

He added that much of his inspiration were from nature. "I looked into structures found in nature and auxetic structures were a big influence in the development of the zigzag structure."

A woven foamboard sample.

Sosanya believes that the process may have applications in areas such as air purification, medical implants, architectural structures etc. "I have been looking into threads and structures for filtration and air purification," he said. Ultimately he wants to develop more technical materials for helmets and stab proof vests. "I am currently working on a material that I hope will address several of the issues caused by body shape that surround stab resistant vests worn by female British law enforcement officers." But he didn't mention when or if the 3D weaver might be available commercially.

Source: Dezeen & Notcot

Posted in 3D Printers

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Brady wrote at 8/5/2014 9:04:01 AM:

Patent Pending, So basically this guy is working to locking the general maker community out of using this technology for the next few decades. No one but him ever would have thought to use a 3d printer to weave something. Thanks alot guy.

Steve_C wrote at 6/29/2014 5:22:11 AM:

Well Bill C, rather than your "Step in dog poo = throw shoes away" scenario; why not consider this printable option - "print dog leash/scoop and doggie poop bag to wrap around head of thoughtless pooch owner at next encounter as subtle reminder of their responsibility to other people to clean up after their dog when out in public"... If you step in dog poo on your own premises, you could consider starting a kickstarter campaign for a low cost printable dog poo detector with audible warning about impending sole contamination. There's bound to be lots of people who'd pay plenty to avoid stepping in it...

Perry Engel (aka cerberus333) wrote at 6/27/2014 11:49:37 PM:

This is a pretty clever idea! once you consider the low material cost, the possible speed of build, extrapolate the idea of cutting (heated end of the "extruder?) and starting a new thread mid print (same idea, heated tip to "weld" the thread) you can see this as a nice addition to the toolkit. especially as a matrix for other materials. for example large sculptures using thread and wax to bind could be directly cast in traditional lost wax process. well done Oluwaseyi Sosanya !!!

Bill C wrote at 6/27/2014 2:32:01 PM:

Step in dog poo = throw shoes away.

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