Is 3D Printing Already Obsolete? Designer Creates Machine That Weaves Fabrics into 3D Shapes.

By: | July 7th, 2014

Industrial designer Oluwaseyi Sosanya, a graduate student from the Royal College of Art, has come up with a potential 3D printing alternative in her new machine that weaves fabrics into 3D shapes.

Essentially, the machine takes materials and weaves them at different heights to create a 3D structure, such as the honeycomb pattern above.

Upon completion, the newly-woven shapes can be dipped in silicone for increased strength.

Sosanya felt it was important to demonstrate a real-world application of the new concept so cotton, paper and wool were woven together to create the soles of the shoes below.

According to Sosanya, the designs look like honeycombs for a reason, saying, “Auxetic structures were a big influence.”

His machine is currently in an art showcase but Sosanya has big plans for the future.

“I am developing more technical materials for helmets and stab proof vests,” he says. “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.”

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