Second skin evolution is an investigation in progress about wearable 3D printed structures, integrated in garments, in such a way that they can create a symbiotic process of transformation of form between the wearer movements and the structure. The fundamental part of the research are the Mechanics studies about how to connect the 3D structure to the body so that the body becomes the motor triggering the interaction of the modules without using electronics. The body itself is the engine of the wearable structure, who controls the wearable and not the other way around. (Creating robots that do not need electricity) It is a study on the materialization of movement. For the 3D printing of the prototypes we are collaborating with the expert Gianluca Pugliese and his 3D printers (WASP).
This collaboration between the italian artist and physical interaction designer Paola Tognazzi Drake and Mexican expert 3D modeler Jonathan Ramírez Díaz de León aims to promote how wearable technology can be implemented in everyday life and how, for that to be possible, it’s necessary to design, thinking about the ergonomy of the body, the movement dynamics and natural mechanics without skipping fundamental steps in the analysis (a problem that instead can happen when using electronics).
It is a project on how to prototype 3D printed structures and how to connect them to the body so that they can interact with the physical movements of the wearer, according to the directions of the movements. Only when a structure moves do we discover how the elements that compose it coordinate and interact together, revealing its identity. This project designs from and for the body in motion, applying the dynamics of the physical movements to understand the structural expressiveness of the patterns to inform the 3D design.
Objective: The idea of this garment is to create a continuous soft touch on the skin that sends information to the brain about the coordination between movement and body.
The opportunity of 3D printing technology has led to innovative forms. However these structures are often architectural and static both through their material and design.
The innovation of this research is the creation of interactive mutually informing process between the wearer and the 3D structure, using mechanical structures and engineering instead of electronics.
The shape for the 3D printed structure was created using the costume made software Choreographing Spaces (in Processing). We overlap the structural design on top of a map of the muscles of the back to align the modules with the muscular fascias we intend to stimulate through the soft friction with the rotation of the modules.
3D printed modules
Laser cut gears
Video documentation of the complete process till now: