Research Project; Laser Stitching
Researcher: Roos Meerman
Speciality: Product Design, Fabric
Department/City: Product Design, Arnhem
During her research Roos Meerman has focused on experimenting with relatively new machines as laser cutters and 3D printers. By modifying them in an innovative way, she has managed to push the limits of application of these machines. She demonstrates new possibilities of laser cutting.
In the ArtechLab she has investigated how she could use the laser cutter in a different way than the usual cutting and engraving. She thought of putting to use the heat of the laser to join materials together. During her research Roos has used this technology to attach fabrics. Here you can see a range of experiments and product trials from her research, which illustrate the new application.
By melting different layers of Lycra onto Neoprene by the heat of the laser, a new kind of fabric is created. By melting just parts of the fabric an open structure is formed through which you can look at the inside of the fabric. The movements of the body underneath clothes made of this fabric cause the lower layer of the fabric to appear. In this way specific body parts can be accentuated.
To melt the lycra layers together, a hacked Chinese laser cutter was used. With an airtight box, with only holes in the top, and a vacuum cleaner, we made a vacuum box. The vacuum cleaner sucked the layers of fabric together, so there is no air left between the fabric.
I found out that a laser cut broken line attaches better than a continuous line. In this way the tissue remains partially in tact and the fabric keeps its elasticity.
By using a fabric that looks like neoprene and consists of two layers of polyester fabric with a vertical tissue in between, it was possible to make three dimensional fabrics. With the correct settings, the laser cuts the upper layer of the material and keeps the bottom layer intact. If you move the fabric, the inside of the fabric, the neoprene, comes out.