I am making a bag for a 3D printer

  1. The 3D printer is at least 10KG if not more so it has to be very strong fabric that won't rip apart under stress.

  2. ideally abrasion resistant. Take some beating as the aluminum used on the printer has sharp edges

  3. Completely and fully water proof

  4. Easily machinable on your average consumer £100 sewing machine.

  • Does just the fabric need to be waterproof or the entire finished bag? Machine sewing waterproof fabric (not to mention the mechanism for closing the bag, etc), adds another level of complexity to keep it "water proof". Nov 15, 2016 at 13:09
  • 2
    (I'm wondering out loud why a hard-sided, waterproof case wouldn't be a better solution here) Nov 15, 2016 at 13:12
  • 1
    @Robert solution: 3D print the case? :)
    – user812786
    Nov 15, 2016 at 13:44
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    I agree with Robert. Considering all you want, I think the case is going to be a better option. I believe "Pelican" is one of the top-selling brands (in the US, anyway).
    – Catija
    Nov 15, 2016 at 13:53
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    @Matt It's certainly a solution but it doesn't really answer the question. If the question was "how do I protect my printer?", that would be one thing... But it would probably also be off topic. I'm hesitant to add it as an answer.
    – Catija
    Nov 15, 2016 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


You may need to combine different materials to get all the qualities you're looking for. Here are some ideas:

  1. Canvas and denim are strong, abrasion-resistant fabrics. Another option is ripstop nylon, which is manufactured to be strong, lightweight, and resist rips and tears. The weight of your fabric will determine how strong it is. For additional strength, make sure to reinforce your seams (and again at stress points).

  2. For protection from sharp edges, consider a quilted lining, or leather (pleather, vinyl) sewn in corners or other stress points.

  3. You can waterproof canvas-like fabrics by waxing, or buy already waxed canvas. You can also buy commercial waterproofing spray, typically sold in outdoor stores. Even with waterproof fabrics, you'll need to seal the seams after sewing to make sure it is fully waterproof.

    • Other waterproof fabrics include oilcloth and laminated cotton, but these are probably not sturdy enough on their own to carry a heavy device. Instead, you could consider sewing an inner case out of the sturdy fabric, and an outer waterproof case out of the oilcloth.
    • You could consider vinyl / PVC for this as well (personally, I think it'd be difficult to get a good seal on the corners, but I've never sewn with it)
    • Ripstop nylon is generally at least water-resistant; check the particular brand to be sure and spray where necessary
  4. All of these materials are sewable on your standard machine!

    • Make sure to use a sharp, appropriately sized needle, and don't sew too fast
    • Denim and canvas will be fine as long as you don't sew too many layers at once
    • Same for garment-weight leather (although small bits would be easy enough to do by hand if you're worried)
    • Oilcloth, laminated cotton, and nylon tend to "stick", so it's recommended to use a teflon foot. You can also place a piece of tissue paper underneath the fabric if it is sticking to the feed dogs.

After researching these options, I would probably try ripstop nylon, leather-like corner reinforcements, and waterproofing spray. Camping forums ("make your own gear") are good sources of info and product recommendations for ripstop nylon, as it is often used in camping gear and hammocks.

  • I think ripstop nylon might be a tad easier to see, and IME almost as durable. Nov 16, 2016 at 22:26
  • @BrownRedHawk I knew I was forgetting something! If you wanted to write it up, I think that would make a good answer too :)
    – user812786
    Nov 17, 2016 at 13:25
  • Feel free to add it to your answer. Just an expansion. Nov 17, 2016 at 13:32

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