Printed T-shirts have been a rage for quite some time now but the actual wearables have definitely remained outside the realm of DIY desktop 3D printing. 3D printing personalized garment designs and decals directly onto T-shirts is not as mainstream yet, as most people are not familiar with all the nuances of the technique. However, for the ardent lovers of 3D printed tees, YouTuber Simone Fontana has released a tutorial revealing how 3D personalized designs can be directly printed on to the tees.
3D printing on tees is rather simple and requires a desktop 3D printer, any colored filament, design software and of course a plain T-shirt. Calibrating the printer and the t-shirt is much of a task, especially for people who are not very comfortable with the machine and any error in calibrating might lead to breakage in the 3D printer. As for the tutorial master Fontana, he chose a Pac-Man ghost design and made a 3D model for the ghost decal. You can choose any design and trace a graphic of that on the Illustrator and export it in a format compatible with your 3D modelling software. (Simone Fontana used his Ultimaker 2+ and software Rhino3D). Once, the decal is imported into the modeling software, you need to extrude the desired shape at desired thickness after which you would be able to get a thin object with about 3 layers (0.22 mm layer height). This will allow some flexibility after the printing is completed.
Things to Keep in Mind While 3D Printing Your Graphic Tee
Once, the model is complete you need to import it into your splicer program, that is preloaded with your 3D printer settings. In Fontanna’s case, the Rhino3D model was imported into Simplify3D with preloaded Ultimaker 2+ settings. Infill does not matter as much because the object is printed as a solid, provided the layer height is 0.2. Your design would be pretty much ready to print by this stage, you just need to place the tee on the build plate at a centered position. Do ensure that there are no wrinkles, you can use clips for holding the t-short in place and then calibrate the 3D printer accordingly.
Ensure that the extruder is in optimal position to print and does not come in direct contact with the t-shirt. Once the printing is complete, simply peel off the border and carefully remove the tee from the build plate. You will need to remove the 3D printed decal from the t-shirt before washing it in a machine or opt for hand washing to protect the structure. You can create similar or other creative 3D designs on your tees by investing in a premium 3D printer available at 3dprintersonlinestore.com.