Skip to content

7. Computational Couture

This week I worked on generating patterns with Grasshopper so as to 3D print on fabric.

  1. Document the concept, sketches, references also to artistic and scientific publications
  2. Design a parametric model using Grasshopper3D and uploadthe rhino file + grasshopper files.
  3. Learn how to use 3D printing techniques to print the 3D model in/on the chosen materials.
  4. Document the workflow for exporting your file and preparing the machine and gcode to be 3D printed
  5. Upload your stl file with pictures at :
  6. Submit some of your swatches to the analog material library of your lab. (20cm *20cm aprox)


I found inspiration in the generative death masks from Neri Oxman.

Vespers death mask, Neri Oxman

I also see aesthetism in fluid dynamics and flow forms such as those presented in Sensible Chaos from Theodore Schwenk.

Vector Fields drawn in Grasshopper based on images from Schwenk’s ‘Sensible Chaos’,
from the website Generative Landscapes

Magnetic wave face mask

I followed tutorials on how to generate magnetic fields on Grasshopper. Below is how I generate a simple pattern in Rhino with Field objects in Grasshopper.

Grasshopper script

draw a rectangle

draw a circle

apply symetry

more circles!

select multiple curves

select points for charge +

select points for charge -


the same process with more circles

Then I used this process to generate a magnetic field pattern on a face mask. Here is the result :

Get the STL file here.

Finally, I 3D printed this 2D pattern on fabric using flexible filament (TPU95). I 3D print on cotton with the Ultimaker 3. Here are the steps of the printing process :

  1. Load the filament
  2. Tight the fabric on the bed. I used metallic clamps on each side of the bed.
  3. Print!

I encountered a problem of filament stringing. I tweaked printing parameters, such as the retraction speed, to mitigate this effect. After several trial errors, I found that the best parameters to print this 2D pattern on fabric was to set on the Surface mode in Cura, which significantly enhance the result.

Voronoi shoes

Last update: 2022-01-13