Aug 11, 2016 | By Alec

Over the past year or so Chinese maker and Redditor SexyCyborg has become something of a celebrity in the making community, thanks to several cool wearable 3D printing projects that highlighted her figure. She’s back for more now, with a truly remarkable 3D printed skirt. Called the Infinity Skirt, this Arduino-powered piece of clothing is absolutely covered with LED-lit mirror tiles that form a flexible, reconfigurable matrix. The perfect 3D printed wearable for those ladies who are searching for that unique and geeky look for in the nightclub or at a nighttime pool party. Just be sure to avoid the water.

As a wearable, this skirt also fits in with SexyCyborg’s previous projects. A little more than year ago, the Chinese maker showed off her designing skills by 3D printing the quite sexy Hikaru underlit skirt that doubtlessly attracted a lot of attention on the dance floor. Back in August, this was followed by a set of 3D printed high heels that housed a secret compartment for a hacking kit that could theoretically be used to break into office buildings. Not advised to actually use and probably not very comfortable, but very cool. And at the start of this summer, she took things into a slightly different direction with a 3D printed wrist mount for two Nano Drones and a controller belt buckle.

But the Maker Faire season is again approaching in Shenzhen, and the SexyCyborg was keen to follow-up on last year’s 3D printed Hikaru Skirt – which was a huge success. “This time I wanted to try to come up with something completely original (at least as far as I know). While there are lots of 3D printed clothes in the news, nearly all are printed on expensive SLS printers and the source code is almost never published,” she says of other projects. “Like all my projects, I wanted it to be Open Source and a realistic project for any Maker to build and improve on. So I came up with this, a wearable array of LED lit infinity mirror tiles inspired by traditional Chinese armor.”

And she came up with something very impressive. The core of the skirt is obviously formed by those tiles, which are more complex than you might think. “Every tile measures 66mm on each edge, and has four magnetic electrical conductors that can link it to its neighboring tile. So long as each row and column gets power, there is endless variations that can be tried,” she explains. As a result, they could be reconfigured into any piece of clothing (or even into a handbag), but she chose a skirt. Each and every tile is subsequently controlled through an Arduino and LED matrix controller, and can display complex and varying patterns on their surface. The Arduino, meanwhile is stored in a battery pack holder.

But of course a skirt needs some swing as well, and SexyCyborg achieved this with long magnets that allow for some side to side movement. Some curves are finally created by altering the size of the magnetic balls that link the tiles together. Fortunately, the tiles are quite thin and therefore allow for some curving effect.

While the skirt looks great, the design itself is hampered by the same problem that SexyCyborg has faced for her previous skirt: the huge battery pack and controller. While smaller batteries certainly exist, a previous experience with a smaller smart battery did not work out well – as it didn’t like LEDs and stopped working after about 10 minutes. As a result, the wearer will be carrying quite some bulky weight around with her, but beauty comes with a price.

Nonetheless, it’s a very impressive design that will doubtlessly turn quite a few heads. All the 3D printed components were designed in TinkerCAD, including some 3D printed screws and a nut. The casings themselves were 3D printed in Chinese-made PLA with 0.2mm layers.

SexyCyborg herself is also very pleased with the design, but is already thinking about a follow-up project. For starters, the battery pack could be greatly reduced in size, while she would also like to try different colors. “The effect would be cooler if the LED strips were black, but they didn't have any in that size and I didn't want to paint them all,” she adds. Moreover, everyone is invited to recreate this cool skirt for themselves, and all the files can be found on Thingiverse here. We can’t wait to see what’s next. And in case you doubted that she truly made it all herself, check out her assembly clip below.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Nowheelspin wrote at 8/11/2016 5:10:52 PM:

Why not use a utility knife

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