Knitting Patterns and Chain Mail with 3D-Printed Ceramics

Date started:  November 2019
Leads: Frank A. Farris and Timea Tihanyi


After the Computational Textiles week at ICERM, Farris started creating virtual knitted patterns and chain mail in Rhino with Grasshopper. The techniques involve the Fourier methods for creating symmetry for which Farris is known (see reference below). Tihanyi saw these designs and proposed that we together investigate possibilities to realize them in ceramic materials with a 3D printer. Preliminary results suggest that the ceramic medium offers exciting possibilities for realizing these virtual objects in the physical world.


Stockinette knit spiraling around a cylinder.
Test print in ceramic medium, based on stockinette knit pattern, thickened to provide support for the material.
A virtual chain mail pseudosphere. The links would be thickened to create a printable pattern.
A chain mail sphere. It may be possible to print in halves this after thickening the links and creating a support structure consistent with the shape.


  • F. Farris, Creating Symmetry, the Artful Mathematics of Wallpaper Patterns, Princeton University Press, 2015.