3D printing is fast becoming a mainstream technology, and its applications are ever broadening into more aspects of everyday life. One recent application ( NSWF and not for the faint of heart) takes a particularly… intimate approach.
Because 3D printing allows for custom designs and intricate detail, as well as moving parts, it is a great choice of technology for prototypes of any number of objects. We’ve seen puzzles, medical devices and implants, prototype engine parts, and simple desk adornments arise from the print trays of various 3D printers. Now, we might just have seen it all, though this use is a little more, ah, private than most (and maybe not one you’d want to necessarily brag to the neighbors about, depending on the closeness of that relationship).
Dame Products is a Brooklyn, NY-based small company with a tagline of “Engineering for Intimacy” and a mission to “make the world a better place, one vagina at a time.”
The Dame Products team is led by CEO Alexandra Fine and CTO Janet Lieberman, and also includes a dedicated team of freelancers and advisors focusing on industrial design, PCB design, FEA analysis, soldering, photography, videography, copy writing, firmware, packaging, rendering, and animation. This team had all the right stuff to tackle the creative engineering of a new model of a product known to many and acknowledged by few (in polite company).
Ms. Fine has a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University, with a concentration in sex therapy and experience working in a start-up. Ms. Lieberman is an MIT graduate with a BS in Mechanical Engineering who was the lead engineer for MakerBot’s Replicator Mini Compact Desktop 3D printer, among other 3D printing industry and engineering experience. Together with their team, Ms. Fine and Ms. Lieberman took their interests — human sexuality and engineering — and put them together in a pretty revolutionary way.
The Eva is a personal toy heralded as the world’s first hand’s free non-intrusive vibrator. Less politely: it’s a sex toy.
Drawing on recent research from the Kinsey Institute, where a report noted that up to 70% of women need direct clitoral stimulation to orgasm, Fine and Lieberman sought to create a product that would provide that stimulation (with or without a partner) without disrupting activities. They wanted, that is, to go hands-free. Certain products on the market (like the popular male ring) can provide stimulation without being consistent enough. For their product, the creative team at Dame wanted the focus to be on the woman. Thus was born the Eva hands-free vibrator, which stays in place through a range of activity.
First designing the Eva in a CAD rendering, the team at Dame realized the best way to proceed with their prototyping would be to 3D print. By creating these prototypes, design issues such as size and shape could be seen much more easily, as could some variations in the color (four are currently under consideration, and the initial run of Eva will be done in the most popular of these colors), and a sense of the movement.
The key to the design of the Eva is its flexible ‘wings,’ which adapt to the dimensions of their placement. The wings conform to the shape of an individual body and will keep the device in place through a range of positions and motions. With 30 subjects of varying body shapes and sizes reporting generally positive results in performance and staying power, initial tests seem positive. Eva is made of medical-grade silicone and features a rechargeable battery, as well as motor with three speed settings (controlled by the unit’s one-button operation).
Armed with positive test reviews, Dame created a campaign on crowdfunding site Indiegogo to bring the Eva to market. The Indiegogo campaign was launched October 21st with a goal of $50,000; less than a week later, almost triple that amount has been pledged, and the campaign is set to continue through December 5th. For $95, a backer in the US will receive their very own Eva (shipping cost included in the pledge; international backers can add $20 for shipping outside the US), with production slated to begin in December and products shipped out by February. Once on the market, the price will be $105.
Dame has provided a handy cartoon for reference:
With coverage on Eva appearing everywhere from Dame Products’ Facebook page to the popular BuzzFeed site, I think we can expect to hear more about this product. As this is Dame Products’ very first product launch, I think we can definitely expect to hear more from the company as well. Fine and Lieberman have, hopefully, only just begun their creative collaborations. Let’s hear your thoughts on this 3D printed adult toy, in the Eva forum thread on 3DPB.com.