Tuesday, December 26, 2017

3D Printing and Fiber Arts Come Together

roving wool
We've been getting into needle felting lately at the library. It is really amazing what someone can make just by stabbing wool over and over again...talk about stress relief from crafting!!

One beginners tip is using cookie cutters when you are first starting out to make easy shapes.  So why not 3D print our own cookie cutters?  Here's one of a cat face I found from Yeggi:  It took about an hour to print actual size on our Ultimaker 2.

Before we get started, here are the needle felting tools you will need: 

Needle Felting Kit (this one comes with roving wool too)
Related image
and YES, wear those leather caps for your fingers even if they look goofy. The needle is not like a normal needle. It is barbed AND IT HURTS.

For more color options you can buy bulk roving wool and if you like going with a cute animal kit Hamanka has a ton!

Grab some wool and place it in the cookie cutter shape.

Image result for stabbing needle felt gif
Hold down with your hand (just not too close to where you are stabbing) and go to town using your needle. Keep flipping it over front and back periodically so it doesn't stick to the foam.  Once you can't pull it apart with your fingers it is done. I made a thin one (took about half an hour of stabbing) just to see if we could actually do this with grade school students in a decent amount of program time.  The stabbing reminds me a lot of how a tattoo gun works.

Special detailed features like eyes are just very small pieces either rolled into a ball or a thin string for the mouth.  Place them where you want and MORE STAB! You can also buy little plastic eyes that you can glue in instead.  Be careful of the needles themselves, I already snapped one. They don't have too much give if you start to bend it.

Just do a search on Pinterest for needle felting to see all the amazing things that you can do with needle felting. Not only does it incorporate 3D printing but you can enhance sewing or embroidery skills.  And for the crazy cat ladies among us.... #lifegoals

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