The popularity of 3D printing has increased quite significantly in the last couple of years, with several companies across the globe making use of the technology to manufacture products effectively.
Latest to join the list is Disney as the US-based firm has also started experimenting with the technology and has created a 3D printer that can print soft, flexible products, kind of like stuffed animals.
“We present a new type of 3D printer that can form precise, but soft and deformable 3D objects from layers of off-the-shelf fabric. Our printer employs an approach where a sheet of fabric forms each layer of a 3D object,” said Disney Research in a blog post.
“The printer cuts this sheet along the 2D contour of the layer using a laser cutter and then bonds it to previously printed layers using a heat sensitive adhesive.”
Disney’s printer works essentially the same way as a normal 3D printer but unlike other printers it can also use fabric instead of plastic or metals. We know that most 3D printers are designed to “print” materials onto specific points because of the fact that this printer uses fabric, it has to use an alternate technique, imitating sewing and layering of fabrics.
Disney has expressed confidence that its technology could be put to several important uses, and because it can be used with conductive materials, it could be used in the development and manufacture of the next generation of computer peripherals.
3D printers have been used by researchers and scientists to print a range of products, including ones that are edible.