Technology Meets Fiber Art

The recent surge in 3D printing has been astounding, and increasingly fascinating to watch. The idea that one day you will be able to print a new dinner plate when one breaks, or create your own custom jewelry the night before a party is just around the bend. So, when I recently hear that Disney was working on a printer that will work in wool
I was ready to get on the bandwagon.

Disney has recently launched a campaign to advertise their research into making soft structures using the 3D printing method. Check out the video below, it was released to show the basics of the technology. An image is first created on the computer using a 3D rendering program, then design is then sent to your machine which is loaded with a wool or wool blend yarn, and finally, the machine feeds the yarn in an exacting pattern to create the sculpture. So, the big question you are asking, how does it do it? Felting! Yes one of the oldest forms of textile creativity has been translated to the machine.

Now the idea of machinery that felts wool is not new and sewing machines have had felting needle attachments for the home user for some time now. What is remarkable here is the combination of the computer, machine, and artist working from home or small studios to make objects that are dimensional. A new form of art conceived in the mind and translated to machine is a welcome addition to the world of art.

Head over to this article to learn more and find a link to the scientific article on the mechanics of the machine designed by Scott E. Hudson.