Materials–Based Research Grant
Craft techniques adapted from manufacturing show that organic fibers can be needle felted into complex 3D objects by hand. Applying similar processes to post-consumer (Polyethylene Terephthalate) PET nonwoven fiber has the potential to transform ‘waste’ materials into high-performing, custom-shaped objects. The translation of intelligent hand-labor to a larger scale and new material is the long-term goal of our team’s research. We are developing a fabrication process that uses an industrial robot to felt in 3D, trained by a craft person's expertise. Our focus is to refine the tool to combine dexterity, speed, and precision in shaping a sustainable, recycled material.