Oct 27, 2016 | By Nick

One maker’s passion for making an impact has resulted in one of the most interesting pieces of 3D printed wearable tech we’ve seen in recent times. SexyCyborg created a shutter top that has also been dubbed ‘Blinkini’ from a series of 3D printed frames and an Arduino set up that lit up Fashion Night at the Shenzhen Maker Faire.

SexyCyborg has become something of a cult figure in the wearables sector on Reddit and Thingiverse, even though she’s rather humble about her 3d design and production skills. This isn’t her first appearance on 3ders.

She first found fame with a Bluetooth-controlled underlit miniskirt that caught the maker community’s eye, for some reason, together with a set of 3D printed high heels that contained a penetration kit concealed in the heel. Then she moved on to wrist mounts for nanodrones and a controller belt buckle.

Her latest creation was inspired by a rather fraught experience with Make Magazine. Inevitably SexyCyborg creates wearables that highlight the female form and that created an issue. “While I’m a huge fan, they have a pretty serious dress code for women appearing in the print edition,” she explains. “They have not shown a female midriff in eight years.”

Even worse than a strict dress code is the fact that there is no real dress code at all. Make Magazine has its standards and rules, but it won’t share them so the likes of SexyCyborg simply cannot change their designs to suit the publication. Faced with an impossible conundrum, the Chinese maker opted to make a statement of her own, an inappropriate protest piece, and make an impact at the Fashion Night at the Shenzhen Maker Faire.

It took a while to come up with the basic concept, but as the piece was aimed at Make’s policy, she wanted to create electronically variable modesty, as she calls it. That’s a cute way of saying it gets racier at the flick of a switch and she began to explore the concept of hiding the human body, which was a traditional part of Chinese culture with fans that worked their way into the folk dancing culture.

She said: “So I wondered: How did we quickly hide parts of ourselves 1000 years ago? Well we’d hide out face with a fan or use it in folk dance, right? So I sketched some ideas, including fans on servos, rotating slats, irises, tubes of fluid. All of it would likely get wrecked climbing in and out of a taxi, let along dancing.”

But a quick visit to Sophi Kravitz’s Hackaday page convinced SexyCyborg to go a new route, with LCD Shutter Glass, and the Shutter Top was born.

The maker community on Thingiverse came to her aid and she soon had the basic ABS breadboards printed on her Flashforge Creator Pro. Everything was going perfect, in fact, until she came to solder the LED strips that would backlight the LCDs. The wires were just too thick. The assembly didn’t fit together and she had to strip back the functionality the day before the event and accept that some things might have to wait until next year.

SexyCyborg freely admits that her lack of technical skills can get in the way of her creativity and while others were advising her to make a PCB, she stuck with a Perfboard set-up simply because she didn’t have time to learn the new skills and KiCAD.

“I’m really not very technical,” she said. “I’m just very, very persistent. Some things you have to be a bit technical for and you can’t just throw endless amounts of time and stubbornness at it. I’ve only been doing this for a bit of a year and some parts still give me trouble.”

She has shown just what you can achieve with a 3D printer, some basic tools, a lot of determination and the power of the maker community behind you. Even after the event, the Imgur.com and Thingiverse crowd have given her a wealth of suggestions to make this bright and bold piece of wearable tech even better.

But did she make an impact at the Shenzhen Fashion Night? We’d have to say yes, but you can have a look for yourself right here and skip to 14m30s to see the Shutter Glass in action:

If you’re feeling really brave, you can download all the files on Thingiverse and make your own top here.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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mick wrote at 10/28/2016 5:15:09 PM:

One of the smartest thing you did was to turn off here comments on youtube. I don't have to imagine what disgusting comments you would get. Well done Sexy Cyborg. I like the case design and the LED pig tails things. I've allways thought it would be great it LCD panel came in other shapes like round, hexagon...

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