How to design 3D clothing or elastic elements for 3D Printing !

Author: Malic Sergiu (SANIX)

How to design 3D clothing or elastic elements for 3D Printing !

 Simple !  Quickly !  Effectively !

      Often, when designing a 3D print model, we meet certain features of the model, which need to be realistic. Manually doing this process takes a lot of time and often with a few references. Below I have described step by step how to carry out this simple, fast and effective process to create an elastic form (a virtual matter) that practically applies to all physics laws!

     All designing prerequisites are performed in Autodesk Maya and Netfabb. In order to understand the design process more easily, we applied simple elements, as well as polygons and functions. The final result is a flag that has been applied to simulation and dynamics functions

 From the beginning, we need to design the flag, which is why we need a few minutes. So we start:

1. Open Autodesk Maya

2. Create a rectangular plane (such as the flag) [fig2]

 Fig. 2

 3. Add a number of polygons on this plane (as an example 100x100) [fig.3]

 Fig. 3

 4. Position the vertical plane so that you can design the flag support more easily [fig.4]

 Fig. 4

5. Apply a plan color or texture to see the effect of better simulation [ fig. 4,5]

Fig. 5                                                           

  6. Design the flag stand (apply a cylinder) [ fig. 6]          

 Fig. 6

 7. Design flags (using the Extrude function) [ fig. 7, 8]

 Fig. 7


 Fig. 8

8. Design details for link between flag and stand, applying only one cube and 2 cylinders [ fig. 9, 10]

 Fig. 9

 Fig. 10

 9. Apply the ,, nCloth / Active mesh ,, function to the flag [ Fig. 11]

 Fig. 11

 10. Apply the ,, nCloth / Passive mesh  ,, function to the stand [ Fig. 12]

 Fig. 12

 11. Select the vertex of the flag, which is joined to the stand [ fig. 13]

 Fig. 14

 12. Select the "Dynamics / Transform" menu (this function allows us to make the selected static vertices ) [fig.15, 16, 17]

Fig. 15


 Fig. 16


 13. To apply physics laws to the 3D Model, in the Editor Attribute menu, we have 2 submenus: nClothShape and Nucleus. [Fig 18]

 Fig. 18

 14. We apply to the flag the following functions: Mass, gravity, elasticity, wind speed, turbulence, wind direction. The other functions can be applied in particular, depending on the model (size, positioning, interaction with another model, etc ...) [fig. 19, 20]

 Fig. 19

 Fig. 20

 15. After applying the functions above, it is necessary to indicate the time during which this simulation will be performed; therefore, at the bottom of the Maya program interface, the time indicator for the animation is placed. We apply 2000 frames for our simulation, and access the PLAY button. [Fig. 21, 22] [gif. Animation 1]

 Fig. 21

 Fig. 22

 Gif. animation1

        6. The animation stops on the STOP button, when the flag prefers an aesthetic form, then we make a publication of our flag, and we remove the original (this is done to eliminate the history of manipulation of the object, and to keep the form in which we stopped the animation) [fig. 23 ]

     Fig. 23

 17. The next step is to design the thickness of our flag to be 3D Printed (apply the Extrude function) [fig. 24, 25]

 Fig. 24

            Fig. 25

          18. The sides around the flag, apply additional edges, to get nice round edges [fig. 26]

      Fig. 26

          19. Apply the Smooth function on our flag to round all the corners of the pattern and increase the number of polygons [ Fig. 27, 28, 29]

     Fig. 27

 Fig. 28

        Fig. 29

         20 . Apply the size of the 3D Model (example: which height we want to be on 3D Printing) [fig. 30, 31, 32]

   Fig. 30

Fig. 31

 Fig. 32

 21. Export 3D Designed Model, in .stl format [fig. 33]

 Fig. 33

 22. Import the .stl file into the Netfabb program (Netfabb allows us to easily convert 3D Multi-Element Models into a solid model). We apply the functions in the images [fig. 34, 35, 36], then export the model again in .stl format

 Fig. 34

Fig. 35

  Fig. 36

 23. Import the solid .stl file into the virtual Slicing program (I use the CURA for the Ultimaker) [fig. 37]

 Fig. 37

 24. So we received a 3D Model for 3D Printing   H = 180 mm (Totally Adopted for 3D Printing), we check using all the levels of the Slicing function if they print well and no errors [fig. 38, 39, 40]

 Fig. 38

 Fig. 39

 Fig. 40

 25. For 3D Printing, the model is already available, but for this 3D Model, too much support is needed because the flag is positioned horizontally parallel to the print bed. To save Filament, we need to separate some elements of the 3D Model, so the model needs to be cut in several parts and positioned vertically (to be printed correctly). [fig. 41, 42, 43]

 Fig. 41

 Fig. 42

 Fig. 43

 26. The cut parts are exported separately into .stl files, then we import them into the Slicing program, followed by 3D Model Printing [ fig. 44, 45, 46]

 Fig. 44

 Fig. 45

 Fig. 46

The result of printing will be perfect, with maximum effect of realism and economy of 3D Printing.
   3D Models Displayed below have been applied the same simulation functions for certain parts of the model that give us the natural realism for 3D Printing
These models for 3D Printing and more 3D Models , you can download them only on


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