Brains & Beauty: A 3D Printed Battery Pack for LED Hikaru Skirt

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“Any girl can and should make, code, and hack.” – SexyCyborg

UntitledWhile lighting and fashion have gone hand in hand forever, it seems, it’s usually in the case of strobe lights and artful overhead sets at runways, or by way of photographers during shoots. Actually attaching the lights to the apparel itself, illuminating the subject of the human body, seems like such a fun idea that we must wonder why the lightbulb for such a thing didn’t go off sooner for a designer along the way.

As it is, kudos go to SexyCyborg for a whimsical 3D printed battery pack included in her take on the ‘Hikaru’ skirt design. SexyCyborg’s version features quite a micro-mini featuring LED lighting powered by a black battery pack in a 3D printed case. If you’ve got the gams, the sticks, and attributes you’d like to put up in lights, here’s a great way to get attention–with what may be the next sizzling hot trend in fashion.

Yes, she’s got the body–but she’s got the brains too. Along with her 3D printed battery pack, SexyCyborg was also able to create a smartphone app for controlling the LED lights which could pulse to varying beats and change hues according to her whim. While she points out that she’s sometimes not taken seriously due to her very pretty and voluptuous appearance–this girl can rock the electronics, as well as the 3D printer–resulting in a compact, slim 3D printed compartment for her very necessary battery pack–and getting attention not only from the men, but women who want to know, of course, how to re-create the whole new fashion system for themselves.

UntitledAllowing her sense of style to shine in both the latest in 3D printing and LED designs, SexyCyborg was able to garner plenty of attention and explain her latest fashion creation, which was designed solely for her attendance at both a local Maker Faire and a Hardware hacker meetup in her home city of Shenzhen, China. She notes that indeed the skirt required more than one iteration as the battery pack was jutting out too far at first, inhibiting comfort and aesthetics. The final design allowed for a compact 3D printed battery pack. While still large, it allows for reasonable comfort while also powering the LED light for four hours of brightness.

“It’s easy to make a pretty ‘demonstration unit’ with a small battery that does not work well in the real world,” says SexyCyborg, an active member of both Thingiverse and Reddit. “I wanted girls to be able to make these and wear them out dancing or partying all night.”

“The battery is a big, but the weight is on my hips and it does not bounce around or anything so is quite comfortable.”

Using a cheap storebought belt to secure the buckle and 3D printed battery case around her slight hips, SexyCyborg found that to be a good system that she would repeat. The 3D print was made using PLA on a fairly large print bed.

UntitledAt the events, SexyCyborg, while noted for her attractive appearance as well as her 3D printing acumen, was able to discuss the new invention and electronics with a number of other attendees passionate about technology and the future of 3D printing.

With the notion that fashion often comes before comfort, this is a win-win all around–not to mention a clever and fun innovation from the new designer, who is still experimenting with digital design and learning her way around the 3D printer. With knowledge of TinkerCAD and a rudimentary knowledge of OpenSCAD, SexyCyborg is focusing on improving her knowledge further, which should lead to further interesting designs.

“Many girls asked where they could buy one. I told them they can’t buy one but I can teach them how to make their own,” said SexyCyborg. “ … I heard one catty older girl say ‘if she can make it how hard can it be’…really that is the whole point so I was pretty happy.

“Making is not hard. If you can follow the recipe you can follow a tutorial. Any girl can and should make, code, and hack.”

With the app, she’s able to alternate lighting to fit the appropriate situation. Still experimenting with software, she has not learned to program an Android app yet but has plans to keep forging ahead as she currently uses Ruby and JS, with plans to make time for expanding her knowledge on that front.

Have you constructed any 3D printed battery cases? What do you think of using 3D printing in fashion like SexyCyborg did here? Discuss in the 3D Printed Battery Back for Hikaru Skirt forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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