3D printing on fabric to create complex 3D structures A team of computer science researchers from Disney Research and the University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid have developed a design tool software that makes it possible to 3D print smooth curved surfaces in a fast and cost-efficient manner. The process enabled by the design software involes 3D printing planar curve networks (a bit like a 2D skeleton structure) onto a pre-stretched piece of fabric. When the fabric is cut into a pre-determined shape after printing, it contracts into a specific structure determined by the 3D printed pattern. The result is a complex 3D shape. The 3D printed fabric structures, called Kirchhoff-Plateau Surfaces, were inspired by the work of Swiss designer Christophe Guberan, who has collaborated with MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab and is known for his experiments with materials and technology. Guberan reportedly experimented with the 3D printing on fabric process in 2015. According to Bernhard Thomaszewski, an assistant professor at the University of Montreal who used to work for Disney Research, the Kirchhoff-Plateau Surfaces are surprisingly easy to make.