The Eurecat technology centre (a member of Tecnio) has developed an innovative adaptation of the Blackbelt 3D textile printer, which is distributed in Spain by the Uniqo Custom Engineering company. This new development makes it possible to print designs onto fabric continuously, thereby achieving theoretically infinite lengths.

In the words of Xavier Plantà, Eurecat’s director of Industrial Technologies, “this innovative application means that the Blackbelt 3D textile printer is the first in the world to be capable of printing in “infinite length” formats. In turn, this enables 3D printing to move into the world of mass-produced textiles; or in other words, the world of continuous manufacturing”.

The system, which has been developed by Eurecat and is in the process of being patented, sends a computerized three-dimensional design to the printer, which is able to print the design onto any type of fabric in any texture and colour.

The technology was unveiled at the ITMA Textile and Garment Technology Exhibition, which is the leading trade fair for innovation in the textile industry. “Eurecat has developed a system that applies additive manufacturing to the field of fabrics, thereby integrating 3D printing technology into the textile industry”, explained Plantà.

“This innovative development makes it possible to create three-dimensional designs and reliefs and print them onto rolls of fabric that will subsequently be used to make garments. It is a pioneering development that contributes to the optimization of the entire production process”, affirmed Virginia Garcia, the director of Eurecat’s Functional Fabrics Unit.