May 7, 2015 | By Alec

While us men might hardly comprehend this problem, having large breasts isn’t easy. Finding a correct bra is an entire quest of its own, and so many women never find a pair that fits well, feels comfortable and looks even remotely nice or fashionable. Inevitably, they have to compromise on one or more of these points, and end up with straps digging into shoulders, sore backs and underwires that are trying to impale you. Men might want to check this clip below to get to grips with this problem.

Fortunately, two women suffering from these problems themselves have decided to take a stand: Laura West and Sophia Berman from Carnegie Mellon industrial designers. ‘We said 'there's got to be a better way of doing this for bustier women’,’ Berman explains. ‘About a year ago, we put our heads together to solve this problem. We started off from a purely engineering standpoint: breasts are heavy, and bigger breasts are even heavier. Heavier things need more support than lighter things. Current bras are designed without weight in mind, which is why most of them fail.’

Indeed, a quick glance at the history of bras will make you start wondering about bras. They were designed in a time when breasts were smaller and manufacturing techniques still limited (more than 110 years ago, if you were wondering). So why stick to the same techniques? The two entrepreneurial ladies therefore approached this as an engineering problem. Why rely on straps if you can more easily support weight from below, just bridges are? ‘If (trusses) have been holding up bridges for so long, why not the body? West says.

Over the past year, the two women have therefore being through an extensive 3D printing prototyping phase, resulting in 35 to 40 test bras. In the end, they have settled for three bra designs (all named after their mothers: the Marjory, the Suzanne, and the Jessica). All three have a basic function of offering support from underneath, leveraging the strength of the ribs and core rather than from the shoulder. Not only does this completely do away with underwires, it als reduces neck pain.

‘In its simplest form, we've developed a system (a truss - get it?) that creates lift,’ they say. ‘We were also fortunate to have a group of women who were ecstatic to help us out. Since then, we've had over 100 women come in to test and try out our new system. And guess what? They love it. We have had a lot of women who say 'Thank God there is something that fits’,’ they write.

The next phase is production, and for that they have relied on the good people of Kickstarter. ‘We've selected high quality, beautiful fabrics and created sophisticated patterns. We’ve designed a structure that spans 42 sizes and provides support for up to 80% of your breast weight. Now we need that push to get our bras out to all of you,’ they write on Kickstarter.

And well, women (and perhaps men, too) have responded enthusiastically. With about half of the crowdfunding campaign over, the necessary sum of $25,000 has already been reached (the counter is now around $36,000 and going). If you would like to offer your support to this woman-friendly initiative (and get your hands on a bra yourself), go check them out here.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Carla Lieberman wrote at 9/2/2015 12:28:16 AM:

Dear Trusst, I've spent the last 5 years researching, thinking, musing in the shower about DD+ bras, the myriad of ways they are inadequate and how to make them better. I think I've found my people. I'd love to talk to you guys.

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