Exploring 3D-Printed Structures Through Textile Design

Martha Glazzard, Philip Breedon

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    This paper discusses novel, 3D-printed structures that are the result of an exploration through geometries and textiles to create auxetic structures. Auxetic materials are those that expand, when stretched, in a direction transverse to the stretch. 3D-printing is the most recent exploration in a research project into weft-knitted auxetic textiles that aims to populate development in this area, previously dominated by engineering disciplines, with a clear design-led presence.

    The physical work consists of knitted fabrics with designs inspired and informed by auxetic geometries; these are then translated into rubber and plastic 3D-printed structures. The production of these geometries is a distinct development from those usually created via a process of mathematical and computer modelling. The geometry is based solely on the product outcome of modelling through knitting. This acknowledges the discrepancy between the programmed, theoretical pattern and the knitted object. This shape is then translated into a form that can be produced as a 3D-print in a material with different properties from those of any textile fibre. By this method, exploration through knitting can demonstrate an original way of designing geometries through design, experimentation and physical means.

    Although the knitted fabrics and the 3D-prints display very different aesthetics and handle, the auxetic effect has been transposed by applying the geometric concept of the fabric. This shows promise for textile making to act as a template for modelling complex structures, which can be translated into different media, thereby widening potential applications exponentially.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationResearch Through Design 2013 Conference Proceedings
    PublisherUniversity of Northumbria at Newcastle
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Print)9780954958794
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2013
    EventPraxis + Poetics: Research Through Design - The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle , United Kingdom
    Duration: 3 Sept 20135 Sept 2013


    ConferencePraxis + Poetics
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


    • Textile design
    • knitted structures
    • auxetic structures
    • structure modelling
    • 3D-printing
    • making


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