Skip to content

18. Wildcard week

The task for this week was:

Design and produce something with a digital fabrication process (incorporating computer-aided design and manufacturing) not covered in another assignment, documenting the requirements that your assignment meets, and including everything necessary to reproduce it.

I have decided to combine 3D printing with textile. The potential use of this technology can be:

  • Clothes prototyping
  • Packaging
  • Auto industry
  • Any project, where the plastic should be attached to textile.

The materials

  • Different types of textile
  • TPU 95A

Ultimaker TPU 95A filament

The general information about this material can be found on the official website I have decided to use this filament because it is flexible and soft compared to other types of plastics compatible with Ultimakert. Therefore, it makes this material ideal for making different kinds of signs, that can be attached to clothes.


I have used several types of materials:

  • 100% Cotton with thick fiber
  • 100% Cotton with a thin fiber
  • 95% Cotton 5% Polyester a thin fiber

The design

I have decided to design something, not too high. I have used Autodesk Inventor for this purpose. I have designed several types of prints: only letters and embossed letters.

The fixation of the fabric

To fixate the fabric, it is good to use paper clips.

G-code creation

While G-code creation, it is important to remember that the fabric should be properly located on the printing bad. Some rules for Ultimaker: printing degree should be about 240 for TPU; brim should be switched off; it is better to set up higher than usual Z-jog as the fabric has its thickness.


It is necessary to lower the printing plate by the same number as the thickness of the fabric.


I had several results. The first one was not good enough because I forgot to switch off the brim.

The second one was better, but not good, either.

After I increased the temperature of printing to 240 degrees, the result was much better.

The prints on these pictures are already processed with a hot air gun.


  • The extruder should directly touch the textile while printing the first layer. In this case, the melted material can go inside the fiber, and the adhesion is better.
  • The printing temperature for TPU should be 240 degrees.
  • After printing the rough surface can be smoothened with the hot air gun. Be careful, as hot air can damage the fabric.
  • The adhesion is much better if the fiber of the textile is thick. In this case, melted material easily goes through fiber (please watch the video).


The most significant problem was that I could not fund out how to avoid traces of the filament between letters. When the extruder travels between letters, it can leave the traces. However, one of the options is to reduce the distance between printed parts or to print the embossed texts (see the picture).

The less significant problems were that the material was not melting properly. Therefore, the quality of the prints was not high. This problem can be solved by increasing the printing temperature up to 240 degrees.