Katja Bremer
MA Graduation Project
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Zane Berzina, Prof. Nils Krüger, Prof. Dr. Jörg Petruschat

At the core of this work is the question of how materials are used, how concepts emerge from materials, and how a free, experimental design can reveal potentials that might have remained unrecognized if the objective had been limited in advance. Material and technologies become the essential source of inspiration for the design process, which in turn makes the possibilities of the material visible in the first place. Such processes play a special role in the introduction phase of a technology, as is currently the case with 3D printing on textiles.

Since their invention, textiles have been a very complex material and medium, deeply embedded in and shaping the cultural and everyday practice of people, combining functional and symbolic purposes with an essential relationship to the body. Recently, they have increasingly conquered new fields of application – also due to the progress in the development of their source materials. Textiles have the potential to change the design of products and, as a result, their social, cultural and design significance has also changed.

The young technology of 3D printing, on the other hand, has revolutionized the whole idea of manufacturing products in a very short time, making possible products that were not technically feasible before. Just like textiles, 3D printing can be used to process a wide variety of basic materials. The decisive factor here – as with textiles – is the interrelationship between material and construction, for which, in turn, the combination of different material properties opens up additional parameters that can significantly extend the functional properties.

This approach is continued here through the combination with textile structures. For both technologies not only show parallels in terms of construction and functionality, but can also be combined with each other in innovative ways. By means of 3D and 4D printing, a hybrid material is created which only acquires its properties through the interaction of the materials. Geometry plays a central role in this.

The project is in a transitional phase in which 3D printing technology is already conquering its own fields and rendering traditional production methods obsolete, but is far from exhausting its potential. In the future, its innovations will mainly be related to how it can combine materials and implement new properties and functions through design. This work is an example of this: Using the example of a child seat, the potential of what is already known today as 4D printing becomes visible: forms transferred into material that already contain their own changes and thus the temporal dimension that is becoming visible. At the same time, one of the greatest potentials of 4D printing becomes visible: the production of complex objects can be significantly simplified with this technology and the use of materials can be significantly reduced.