Glove Mobile Phone

So you can talk to the handBryan Cera describes himself as a designer, and artist and a maker, and his projects exemplify those directions with a mix of practical, conceptual and technical approaches.  Digital fabrication is an integral part of Bryan’s creative process, and he’s not new to combining laser cutting, CNC milling and 3D printing in his projects.

Majority of Bryan’s projects involve re-purposed electronics and custom built circuits.  The end result doesn’t have to have a practical application, as long as the experimentation process is fun.  Metals and plastics are Bryan’s favourite materials to work with, as they are accessible, easy to machine and add a sense of permanence to the work.  3D printing in metal is certainly on that list.

One such project is Glove One:

a wearable mobile communication device. It presents a futile and fragile technology with which to augment ourselves. A cell phone which, in order to use, one must sacrifice their hand.  It is both the literalization of Sherry Turkle’s notion of technology as a “phantom limb”, in how we augment ourselves through an ambivalent reliance on it, as well as a celebration of the freedom we seek in our devices. Emotional investment becomes physical, as the functionality of the device depends on the dysfunctionality of the wearer. While we enjoy the fantasies they offer, we rethink the technologies we construct and reflect on how they construct us.

Essentially, this is a prototype for a mobile phone glove with a futuristic armor aesthetic that evokes a fusion of Inspector Gadget and Daft Punk robot gloves.  The glove phone is designed around components from wrist-watch cell phone that wasn’t getting much use.  The structure of the glove was 3D printed from Super Fine Plastic to give the parts the best form definition.  Bryan wanted to give the glove a smooth, shiny finish, and that meant a lot of sanding and several coats of paint.More on Bryan’s process after the jump:

How would you describe your creative process? Phase One – Concept generation:  Take a few hours to sketch and generate as many ideas (no matter how stupid they seem) as possible… at this point it is quantity over quality. Phase Two – Concept selection:   Assign values to each concept, and/or devise a way to distill the pile of sketches down (sometimes this means combining several concepts) until I end up with two or three concepts. Phase Three – Sampling:  Build a quick and dirty mock-up/prototype for the few concepts that made the cut (I usually work in paper/card-stock and scotch tape at this point). Phase Four – Prototype design:  Plan a more robust version or which ever “sample” is working out the best.  Here’s where I usually begin modeling things on the computer. Phase Five – Production:  Make it!

Have you been surprised by anything in the Ponoko process: Very surprised at how generous customer support was.  For each print I ordered there were these long email conversations between me and customer support, mostly me asking questions and them explaining processes or making suggestions on altering my designs to make them more “3D-print friendly”. The biggest negative of my whole PF experience was the excruciating wait for the parts to be printed.  Three to four weeks for a print falls outside of my instant-gratification category.  Rapid Protyping is a relative term!Do you have any tips for other makers? Yes – if you are designing an object that will have integrated hardware or electronics, leave time and/or be prepared to make more than one print/cut.  The first print I ordered was a disaster because I hadn’t allowed wiggle room for components and nothing fit correctly. The second try worked much better… and if I do a third version it would be close to perfect!

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