So, last summer when my friend Brooklyn and I were at Eyeo we sat at a bar talking about her Nike Fuelband, which is awesome and cool and from the future. But at the same time, for something that you are supposed to wear all day, every day it doesn’t exactly go with a lot of outfits. Seems like a silly thing to be worried about, but really the issue is a matter of personalization of wearable technology. It’s great that these things are becoming more mainstream and common but, unlike our phones which have a ton of cases in various shapes and colors, it seems there aren’t a lot of personalization choices for these extremely personal items yet.
Anyways, so we talked about how we could make a bunch of different bracelet encasements for the band. Talked about design ideas. Brooklyn gave lots of valuable insight as a user since I didn’t have my own yet (covering it entirely like in the sketch wouldn’t work). Maybe it could be a Kickstarter or something. Talked about some sketches. And then I moved to SF in July and things got put on hold. After a few months I bought my own Fuelband (and love it). And a few months later I finally received the 3D printer I won from Instructables. And then I moved into a house where one of my roommates, Serge, happens to be a bona fide mechanical engineer. And then we had the week off for Thanksgiving. It takes a long time for things to magically line up right for things to actually happen. But after months of waiting/putting it off we have a prototype! (Photos below)
Serge used his calipers and his fancy CAD software to measure and model the Fuelband while I watched in awe. I don’t know how people use “professional” CAD software everyday without stabbing their eyes out. The user experience was so awful. It basically made me realize I never want to have to use it myself. I have since discovered Tinkercad and fallen in love with their interface. But for this we just used the “pro” software.
And then we modeled the little spiked “clip” to snap onto the band properly. Or rather he did the modeling while I loomed over saying “more pointy, less pointy..yes!” You can see my super rough, not to scale sketches on the notebook between the computers. And my sweet 3D printer in the back there. And then my computer on the right running Windows XP on VMWare because I can’t get the 3D printer software working on the Mac side.
And here we have the first one clipped on! But the first one we printed on its side, resulting in a funny lopsidedness.
And here’s the rest of the spikes, which printed much better standing straight up.
They’re definitely just prototypes for now. We were really intending to make more “jewelry” like customizations, which is probably what the next iteration will be more like. I’d really like to find a proper jewelry designer to collaborate with or something eventually. But considering the idea started almost 7 months ago, and these prototypes got printed out almost 3 moths ago and we haven’t done anything with the project since, I figured it might be good to at least share the process of it so far to see if there’s any interest. More posts to come, as the project evolves.