My body Frankenstein

My body Frankenstein, a mannequin made with my personal measurments (Fabricademy, FabTextiles, Fab Lab Barcelona, 2017)


Do you know this feeling when you're coming out of the fitting room without finding any cloths at your size ? Sad, angry, blaming yourself, your shapes, your genetic, coming home depressed and wanted to start a diet. But did you already ask yourself why there is only 3 standardize sizes (S,M,L) for millions of different body shapes ? Did you already think that maybe the problem is not coming from you but from the institution behind ?
Before the mass production and standardized sizes, all the garment were individually designed and made-to-measure by tailors or clothing makers at home. The first standardization of clothing sizes started with the creation of military uniforms during the 1800s. A ready-to-wear system that gradually expand to the commercial and domestic market.
After World War I, money was tight and women wanted access to affordable fashion, regardless of their class. In 1958, the National Bureau of Standards published “Body Measurements for the Sizing of Women's Patterns and Apparel”. A study based on 15,000 women, with the addition of a group of women who had been in the Army during World War II. The document's purpose? “To provide the consumer with a means of identifying her body type and size from the wide range of body types covered, and enable her to be fitted properly by the same size regardless of price, type of apparel, or manufacturer of the garment.”
This first set of standards sizes were more varied than what you’ll see in stores today. It was only intended as a fitting guide and not as an indicator of ideal proportions. After all, two women with similar body measurements may still have very different body shapes ! A nuance that made-to-measure and home seamstress can account unlike standardized sizes.
But are we doomed to a future of sizing confusion? Of course not ! Now, the technology allows us to work with new tools. You can 3D scan your body, model it in a 3D software and adapt the patterns to your own measurements. We are entering in a new era of customized clothing. Digital fitting rooms are going to blow up, people will see themselves in 3 dimensions and will be able to adjust and personalized there own cloths.
Although, even if seeing yourself in 3 dimensions on a 2D screen is more elaborated than watching yourself in the mirror, looking at yourself on a screen remains a flat surface. Giving volume to your body helps to become aware of your own shapes and how your body occupies the space around it. Because the holograms era has not arrived yet, I’m going to create my body from the neck to the thighs, with my own measurments, for picturing myself in 3 dimensions and be able to design garments at my size.



Project : To create a mannequin with my own measurements for picturing myself in 3 dimensions and designing garments at my size.


Process :
(1) MakeHuman
(2) Rhinoceros : Mesh2nurbs & Trim
(3) Slicer for fusion 360°
(4) Rhinoceros : Make 2D & Move
(5) Laser cut
(6) Assemble


Material :
- 3 sheets of cardboard (1000 x 600 mm, 1,7 mm)
- a needle
- a black thread
- scissors
- MakeHuman software
- Rhinoceros software
- Slicer for fusion 360° software
- laser cut Trotec (1000 x 600 mm)



(1) MakeHuman
Open MakeHuman software and start to model the main parameters of your human in Modelling / Main : gender, age, muscle, weight, height, proportions, Africain, Asian, Caucasian. Then, enter your own body measurements in Modelling / Measure by following the instructions in the different categories on the right : neck, upper arm, lower arm, torso, hips, upper leg, knee, lower leg, ankle. You can also play to model your face in Modelling / Face, but here in this mannequin project I didn’t plan to keep the head at the end so we don’t need to model the face. At the end, don’t forget to save your human in obj. for opening your file in Rhino.


(2) Rhinoceros : Mesh2nurbs & Trim
Open your obj. file in Rhinoceros and convert the Mesh model into a Nurbs surface model. What is the difference between a Mesh and a Nurbs ? Both can represent a 3d object. « A Mesh represents 3D surfaces as a series of discreet facets, much as pixels represent an image with a series of colored points. (...) NURBS surfaces are mathematical representations of curves and surfaces. They are capable of representing complex free form surfaces that are inherently smooth, and they keep their smooth shape when editing. There is no pixelization or granularity as with a mesh. Thus they behave more like a real person’s face rather than a pixelized image of that same face.» (wiki.mcneel.com/rhino/mesht...) Then, cut your Nurbs surface model and delete the portions you don’t want by using the Trim command. Start to draw a line where you want to cut your mannequin and enter the Trim command. Select the cutting object, the line you just draw and select the parts of the object you want to trim away. Save your body mannequin as a stl. file for opening in Slicer for fusion 360°.


(3) Slicer for fusion 360°
Open your stl. body mannequin file in Slicer for fusion 360° for creating your assembling system. First, enter in Manufacturing Settings / Custom, the size and the thickness of the material your are going to use in the laser cut. Here, I decided to built my mannequin with black & white sheets of cardboard of 1000 x 600 mm and 1,7 mm of thickness. Then, put the Object Size in cm and Original Size. After, you can select the construction technique for assembling your body mannequin. You have the choice between severial techniques like : Stacked Slices (compact mannequin using a lot of material), Interlocked Slices (waffle straight structure), Curve (waffle curve structure), Radial Slices (waffle radial structure), Folded Panels (3d puzzle with no structure inside) and 3D Slices (3d print object). I choose the Folded Panels technique because it was one of the most economic structure to make, using only 3 sheets of cardboard. In Optimize Panels, enter 200 or more in the Vertex Count, your body mannequin will probably have red & blue parts. Select the Joint Type of your folded panels body mannequin, here I chose Tongue. Then, start to play with Add/Remove Seams for take off the red parts and make the folded panels construction possible. Save your file in DXF. in Get Plans for being able to open it in Rhino.


(4) Rhinoceros : Make 2D & Move
Open the DXF. file in Rhino. You can see 3d colors layers, convert each color layers (one engrave, one cut) in 2d with the Make2D command. Then, re-organize the pieces in the sheets for optimize the space and use the less material as possible. Save your file for the laser cut your are using, here in 3dm. for the laser Trotec.


(5) Laser cut
First, set the focus on the laser cut and make a serie of test to determine the power and speed of the material you choose. Then, open your file in the Rhino of the laser cut computer. Move your first sheet on the 0,0,0 axes. Tap the Print command, check all the printing parameters in the next window : size of the material, window set, scale 1.1... Then set the power and speed you selected. For my cardboard sheets I used to cut : power 50 | speed 2 | PPI/Hz 1000 and to engrave : power 10 | speed 1.5 | PPI/Hz 1000.


(6) To assemble
Re-open the folded panels file in Slicer for fusion 360° for using it like your puzzle map. Unfortunatly, my Tongue Join Type was not really working so I had to sew by hand each tongues and corners together. A long sewing task that projected me directly into fashion world.