Fancy Follicles

3D Printed Hair Technique to Enhance Your Prints

3d printed hair

Bored of making smooth printed objects? There’s now a solution: 3D printed hair allows you to coif your creations with dramatic new styles.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have been working on printing model horses with braidable tails, troll heads with brushable hair, and wizards with long beards.

The 3D printed hair works in a much simpler way than you might expect. Gierad Laput, a Ph.D. student in Carnegie Mellon’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, told CNET: “You just squirt a little bit of material and pull away.”

Laput and his colleagues refer to this as “furbrication”, and were inspired by the strands which are produced when you pull a hot-glue gun away from a gob of melted plastic.

Can You Print 3D Hair at Home?

Printing hair “requires no special hardware, just a set of parameters that can be added to a 3D-print job,” according to the notes from Carnegie Mellon.

The printer used for the experiments cost just $300. Meaning that if you have a 3D printer at home, then you should be able to use your own.

To create the hair, it is as simple as instructing the printer to create a tiny blob of molten plastic and then pulling the print head and print bed off to the side, drawing the plastic out into a thin filament. The finished hair can be treated as real hair – you could trim, braid, brush or curl it easily.

It is also conceivable that a printer could even create a human size wig, but the process is very slow. The amount of time it would take may not be worth the means, as to make just an area of 10 square millimeters in size would be nearly half an hour… but it could create an interesting Halloween costume for next year!

What do you think of furbrication? Will you be creating more trolls with hair now you have the means?