ABSTRACT: Fashion Students Learn Direct 3D Printing on Fabric

3D printing is an additive manufacturing process that has found its way into makerspaces, home studios and classrooms. The process is used predominately for rapid prototyping and small-scale production of objects. 3D printing can also be used directly on fabrics to enhance the surface, dramatically change the appearance, or add a built-in feature.

Nylon tulle has been placed over the first layer of PLA and secured to the bed with binder clips.

Sustainable manufacturing

3D printing is considered a sustainable manufacturing approach. It entails only applying materials where needed and, unlike traditional fabric printing processes, does not require excessive amounts of water. Sustainability and innovation are two sometimes seemingly opposing initiatives in the apparel industry. “Introducing Fashion Students to Direct 3D Printing on Fabric” presents educational project approaches to direct printing on fabric using a Lulzbot Taz6 printer and both rigid (PLA) filament and flexible (Ninjaflex) filaments. This project was developed in a college-level exploratory Apparel Technology course, but could be easily adapted to a high school classroom.

Student project features multiple PLA elements on stretch mesh for use in a specific garment location.

(No students in the Apparel Technology course had prior experience with 3D modeling software or 3D printing.)

Lori Wahl is an instructor in apparel, textiles and design in the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Idaho. She teaches courses in technology, product development and design. Prior to this, Wahl worked in the West Coast apparel industry for 19 years, employed by Nike, Adidas, Hanna Andersson and as a freelance designer.

ACTE members can read Wahl’s article, “Introducing Fashion Students to Direct 3D Printing on Fabric,” in the April 2019 issue of Techniques — Making the Case for Family and Consumer Sciences. Not a member? Join! ACTE is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers.

iTeachU: Building Upon National and State CTE Teacher Recruitment Efforts

For more than two decades we have heard alarms, warning of the shortage of secondary teachers in content areas such as agriculture education and family and consumer sciences… In response, national initiatives emerged to address the need to recruit teachers into these career and technical education (CTE) fields. The National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) (2018) began the Tagged to Teach Ag initiative in 2009 and turned a spotlight on the need to recruit and retain professionals in that space.

A Kansas-based campaign coined “Say Yes to FCS” was adopted in 2014 by the National Association of State Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences (NASAFACS) (Randel & Spavone, 2016). The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) hosts online resources to fill the FCS teacher pipeline. These campaigns and others have heightened an awareness of the need for teachers in these fields of CTE.

Statewide CTE Teacher Recruitment Efforts

Capitalizing on the buzz created by the national Tagged to Teach Ag and Say Yes to FCS campaigns, statewide recruitment efforts are underway to recruit the next generation of CTE teachers in South Dakota.

Each year, South Dakota FFA members who plan to attend South Dakota State University (SDSU) to major in agricultural education are invited to participate in the event, which mirrors an athletic signing. The student, their agriculture teacher and SDSU faculty sit at a table and sign a framed letter of intent to teach agriculture.

South Dakota has undertaken additional statewide efforts to recruit family and consumer sciences teachers… In addition to the traditional means of recruiting, SDSU implemented iTeachU in 2011. The one-day, annual event on campus is a joint effort between the agricultural education and FCSE faculty in the department of teaching, learning and leadership, and introduces participants to a career in teaching while simultaneously providing a glimpse into college life.

Associated faculty take on the logistical roles of organizing and planning the iTeachU program, while current SDSU students facilitate the event. This joint effort between faculty and students with diverse interests is purposeful. At SDSU, several of the core education courses are cross-listed between these disciplines, and many students, pursuing degrees to become agriculture and/or FCS teachers, will attend classes taught by both faculty throughout their time as students. These shared classroom experiences help students recognize the CTE connection that agriculture and FCS share.

ACTE members can read the full article, “iTeachU: Building Upon National and State CTE Teacher Recruitment Efforts,” in the November/December issue of Techniques today. Watch your mailboxes for the print edition to appear this week!

Not a member? Join! ACTE is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers.