9. Textile as scaffold

Technical Textiles are defined as materials manufactured primarily for their technical properties and performance. Technical textiles are used in a wide variety of applications and industries such as construction, transport, agriculture, medical, furniture, and sporting.

This class focuses on exploring techniques and applications of technical textiles in the industry.There are different techniques used to change the tissue structure of textiles including polymerisation, solidification, fabric formwork, crystallization, making composites and biocomposites and others.


Interesting Research

The use textile structures in the medical field have been used for the closure of wounds or injuries. Nowadays, with the advancements in textile engineering and bio-medical research the use of textiles in surgery is growing. In bio-medical research textiles are commonly used to supplement or replace the functions of living tissues of the human body. Soft tissue replacement or implants such as vascular graft, skin grafts and others are made of textile filaments. The textile scaffolds are three dimensional, porous structures encourage cell attachment, proliferation and migration through an interconnected network of pores. Scaffolds are designed to act as templates for attached cells and newly formed tissues. There are many interesting research papers being published in the topic of textile scaffolds for tissue engineering, I came across the following interesting references:

The Assignment of the Week

To make two samples with 2 out of the 5 techniques to make a prototype of a textile form: fabric formwork with casting crystalization wood-textile resin-textile leather molding or other.

Used Software and Machines

  • Rhinoceros Software
  • SRP Player CAM Software
  • Roland MDX-50 Milling Machine

Sugar Crystallization

Sugar crystallization is one of the most interesting experiements especially for kids to make candies.

The recipe is very simple and easy to make I followed this simple recipe as shown below.

For the peices to be crystalized, I have designed simple things using burlap thread and ribbon to make earrings and brooch as shown in the following picture and dipped them on the syrup as shown in the process above.

  • Results:

It is very clear that in day 3 the crystals are showing very clearly. I will leave it for two more days and see the effect :)

  • Final Pieces:

Biocomposite Material 1 (Cork)

Cork is a very interesting natural material that is having very nice features and appealing apperance. It is used in several applications such as weables (footware and bags), packaging, furniture and others as detailed in the link. This interesting material can be easily cooked to make different biocomposite materials. I referred to different recipes in Materiom to make cork biopolymer.

Before I start the practical experimentation, I did a quick research about materials' characteristics referring to the following links.

Practical process is summarized as follows.

Final result was a foamy material as follows.

Biocomposite Material 2 (Sawdust)

It is very interesting to make the advantage of the waste material from workshop to fabricate new materials to make different things. I find it really interesting to collect the sawdust from the milling machine and then recycle it.

I have referred to the recipe from Materiom to obtain a biocomposite material consisting of sawdust (from MDF wood) and pine resin. My process was as follows:

  • Results:

The material cured over three days under the effect of room temperature and exposure to air. For faster curing, backing might be a practical method.

Leather Molding

To mold leather using customized design was one of the most interesting topics I have experienced this week. I downloaded an open source design for a seashell from Thingiversse and then imported the STL into Rhinoceros software where I designed the positive and negative molds. According to the lecture slides, leather can be molded using one part positive mold and vacumm machine or two part molds (in both cases the mold should be designed). I decided to make a small coin purse with the shape of seashell.

  • The positive and negative mold design:

The following 6 steps summarize the process.

I referred to this link to understand how to use Mesh Boolean command to make the negative mold.

The 3D model of the positive and negative molds.

  • Preparing the model for milling:

Since I am going to use Roland Modela MDX-50 milling machine, the STL file should be processed using SRP Player CAM software. The following 10 steps demonstrate the process of the preparation of the milling file/ tool path.

As explained in the GIF above, I am using two strategies for milling. The first one is rough milling and the second is fine finishing. For rough milling I am using 1/8" ball end tool and for fine finishing I am using 1/16" ball end tool. SRP Player has generated tool path for both processes. Roland has automatic tool changer that will automatically change the tool for each process. Since rough milling is performed first, I put the tool 1/8" in tool slot 1 in the machine and I put tool 1/16" in slot 2 for fine finishing.

  • Preparing the machine:

Now before sending the file for cutting, the material need to be placed inside the machine and some setup need to be adjusted. The following 4 steps summarize the process for machine setting.

The milling process with Roland MDX-50 took 6.4 hours = 6 hours and 24 min as analyzed by SRP Player CAM software.

Final result :)

The result was very nice and fine details showed nicely. However, I am not confident if it will show on the leather :/

  • Leather Molding:

The following 6 steps summarize the process of preparation of leather for molding.

The result after one day.

Although the final result looks very fabbable, I am happy with the process and I was surprized to see the texture showing! For future improvement, I might use a bigger design to have a better quality of details. Also, to make the leather more stiff I need to soak the leather in a water with corn starch or to apply natural resin before molding. Additionally, to have a better and neater appearance for the product swing machine could be used instead of hand sewing.

Interesting References

3D Models

Check the Drive Folder to download the 3D files.