Introduction: 3D-Printing Plastics on Textiles

About: Hi! since my first toddlerdrawings I am passionate by design, therefore "industrial design engineering" fits lik a glove to me. I really like challenging myself, to reach my skills to a next level.

1.600.000.000,00 ...

That is the amount of kilograms of Textiles that gets disposed each year !
What a shame !
A real depletion battle for our planet :o

But !
What if I told you that 3D printing could help extending the life span of your textiles !
That would be great, wouldn't it ? :D

In the following steps you'll learn everything to 3D print on textiles yourself.
Please, feel free following me

Step 1: Use Cases

Before sharing you the secrets about 3D printing on textiles.
Let's go over the possible use cases ;)

  1. Repairing "wear & tear" OR "stains"
  2. Extra functionality for your textiles
    • Clothing Buttons
    • Badge Holders
    • etc.
  3. Preventively reinforce Textiles where needed, i.e.; reinforcements on the knees, elbows

Life span extension, YES it can be sexy ;)

Step 2: Materials & Abilities


  • Flexible filament with a hardness of 85A (most flexible according to durometer scale)
  • 3D printer (Direct feeder preferable, this advances extruding flexible filament)
  • Vector Graphics - software (i.e. Adobe Illustrator)
  • CAD - software (i.e. Autodesk Fusion 360)
  • Slicer - software (i.e. Ideamaker)


  • Basic "Vector Graphics Design" skills
  • 3D modeling skills
  • Slicing skills
  • 3D printing skills

Step 3: Design the Print

First of all,

Design your 3D print in 2D with "Vector Graphics Software", i.e. Adobe Illustrator.
After having drawn your "2D vector design", save it as an SVG-file (Scalable Vector Graphics).
This file format allows you to import your 2D vector design in CAD - software.

Step 4: Give Dimension to the Designed Print

Next, give dimension and depth to your 2D vector design.

First, Import the saved SVG - file into your preferred CAD - software, i.e. Autodesk Fusion 360.
Then, extrude this vector file as high as the thickness of all the desired layers together.

E.g. you plan on 3D printing with a layer-heigt of 0.20mm & you want to print 3 layers.
this means that you will have to extrude your design till 3 x 0.20mm = 0.60mm

Lastly, you export your 3D design as an STL - file (stereolithography)

Step 5: Slice STL & Export G-Code

1. Slice the STL-file in slicer software (i.e. Ideamaker)

Special Print Settings:

  • Heated bed = OFF
  • Nozzle temperature = 446°F (230°)
  • Z-hop = 0.500 mm (to prevent travel lines)

2. Export the sliced file as a G-Code file (machine & human readable code for 3D printing)

3. Upload the G-Code file on a memory card (Micro SD / SD / USB / Cable, according to your 3D printer)

Step 6: Prepare for 3D Printing

  • If you plan to repair wear & tear, perform Step 1(within this step of preparing for 3D printing) first in order to proceeding to step 2.
  • If not, proceed immediately to step 2.
  1. Tape the wear or tear at the bottom side (inside) of the textiles / clothing.
    This prevents the textile from moving freely during 3D-printing.
  2. Attach the textile with tape or clothespins to the print bed.
  3. Level the "print head" / "nozzle" to the bed

    NOTE !!! The secret of a quality print, is to dare pushing the nozzle slightly into the textile
  4. Lift the nozzle 1 inch (2.5cm approx.) from the print bed
  5. Preheat the nozzle to 446°F (230°C)
  6. Insert the Micro SD / SD / USB / Cable into the 3D printer and upload the G-Code file
  7. Start the 3D Printer to print your design

Step 7: 3D Print ! :)

Enjoy watching your Design becoming reality ! ;)

Step 8: Results & Be Creative !

Yes you saw it right !
This works and you can surely do all of this yourself!

Think about our planet,
Think about those 1.6 million garbage trucks full of textile.


Imagine what your contribution could do.
All bits help !

Bye & have fun creating !
Good Luck!

Plastics Contest

Participated in the
Plastics Contest