by: Agata Kycia

Form-finding through 3D printing on prestressed textiles

This project investigates the technique of 3D printing on prestressed fabrics as a way of creating three-dimensional textile composites and explores potential applications of this method in the architectural industry. Design methodology takes advantage of the elasticity and self-shaping properties of these structures, by looking into aspects such as materiality, modularity and scalability.
The form-finding process relies on 3D printing a less elastic material such as thermoplastic polymer on top of an elastic, pre-stressed fabric. After releasing the tension, the fabric transforms into a three-dimensional textile structure. Forms created in this way are pure representations of their material properties, energy stored in these materials and forces acting on them. As a result, they are structurally stable and inherently efficient.
As additive manufacturing becomes more affordable, materials more intelligent, and textiles more robust, the potential applications of textile systems are continuously expanding. Proposed methodology suggests novel applications for lightweight textile structures in architecture and construction.

Agata Kycia is a Berlin based architect and researcher fascinated by the potential intersections of computational design, digital fabrication and material science. She worked for several years as lead architect at HENN in Berlin and lectured at various universities such as TU Delft, Architectural Assosiation VS, Warsaw School of Architecture, Fachhochschule Düsseldorf, Fab Lab Berlin, TU Berlin-CHORA, IaaC Barcelona and IED Madrid. Currently she’s teaching and researching at the weißensee kunsthochschule berlin and TU Berlin, where she investigates material-informed design strategies through 3D printing on textiles.