A computer generated garment with embedded material knowledge.
The advancement in the nanotechnology has led to big inventions in the fields of biology, medicine, and material science. Driven by technology, this multidisciplinary research focuses on the implementation of a photomechanical material into a reactive wearable that aims to protect the body from the ultraviolet radiation deriving from the sun. In this framework, the wearable becomes an active, supplemental skin that not only protects the human body but also augments its functions, such as movement and respiration. The embedded knowledge enables the smart material to sense and exchange data with the environment in order to passively actuate a system that regulates the relation between the body and its surroundings in an attempt to maintain equilibrium.
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The decrease of ozone amounts in the upper atmosphere has caused an increase in the amount of ultraviolet radiation striking the earth. UVA can penetrate the middle layer of the skin (dermis) and UVB can penetrate the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) inducing important biological consequences to the skin, such as erythema, burns, skin cancer and premature aging. Current ways of photoprotection such as melanin and commercial sunscreens have been proved harmful for our bodies
                                                                                                                         * credits to Cara Phillips
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The actuators of the system are materials with photomechanical properties which transform photon energy into kinetic energy. The synthesis of the photomechanical material is based on Nematic liquid single crystal elastomers with the azo compound acting as a cross-linker. Strips of 46 mm length have been produced and showed 7% (43 mm) contraction after irradiation with white-light, recovering to their initial shape when the light turned-off.
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Human body analysis_Noumena(01)
The design has been the outcome of a digital juxtaposition of various data, such as body thermal maps, sun exposure and sweat maps. Data of regional sweat rates across the body of women athletes has been taken into consideration for the purpose of this research. Simultaneously, empirical data from body exposure to sun has been considered to define the most prominent to sunburn parts, consequently the parts that are exposed to direct sun rays. In addition to thermal comfort, the proposed photoprotective wearable has been designed to augment and not disrupt the movement of the body. Analog, two-dimensional images of muscular geometries that show the direction of their fibers as well as the less contacted parts where inputs for the design. Furthermore, Kraissl’s lines have been an additional input of the design process. The aforementioned lines, being perpendicular to the underlying muscle fibers, correspond to the alignment of collagen fibers within the dermis and define the direction within the human skin along which the skin has the least flexibility.
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The design of the wearable has not followed conventional patterns of sartorial techniques but is designed digitally. It has been based on a mesh of a 3D female body with standard proportions. Lines, representing the seams of the garment have been designed on top of the mesh, separating the upper part of the body in 14 different patches, based on the aforementioned data. This way, an optimized to movement and thermal comfort T-shirt has been created. The 14 different patches have been categorised into three zones. Zone 1 (dark grey) consists of the highly sweating parts, which are located at less stretchable parts of the body and are mostly exposed to the direct sun radiation. Zone 2 (white) consists of the highly sweating parts, which are located at more stretchable parts of the body and are less exposed to the direct sun radiation. Finally, zone 3 (grey) consists of the least sweating parts, which are the most stretchable parts. Consequently, zone 1 has been characterized more appropriate to place the reactive components.
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The control of the photomechanical reaction by the manipulation of the illumination conditions such as light intensity enables diverse air and light permeability along the wearable. The 3D representations of the reactive component have been created, through digital simulations, in order to show the shape shifting of the garment according to various sun intensity scenarios. This allows the elimination of design errors, and verifies the performance of the final system by collecting and analyzing the resulted data. The digital simulations precede the physical test, in order to save time and material, and when satisfactory results are obtained, physical experiments follow.
Photoreactive material
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In order to fabricate the T-shirt, a digital 2D pattern has been generated by unrolling the 3D geometry of every patch. This process has been conducted with the use of Kangaroo, applying gravitational forces to the oriented parallel to the floor mesh patches. In the unrolled patches, a small difference of max 1% between the area enclosed in their outline and the area of the original 3D mesh has been observed. Nevertheless, these small differences will be covered by the elasticity of the fabric.
By inputting the 3D scanned body of a specific person, as well as its body analysis data such as thermal map, taken from infrared pictures or sweat rate data, the design can be customized for individuals.
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Published paper at 35th eCAADe conference – Sharing Computational Knowledge!, Rome, Italy, 20-22/9/2017, Volume 2, pp. 317-326.


Photoreactive wearable:
A computer generated garment with embedded material knowledge

Noumena Design Research Education S.L.: Efilena Baseta (1), Aldo Sollazzo (2), Laura Civetti (3),
Group de Materials Orgànics, Institut de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia, IN2UB Departament de Química Orgànica, Universitat de Barcelona: Dolores Velasco (4), Jaume Garcia-Amorós (5) 


Financial support from the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (CTQ2015-65770-PMINECO/FEDER) is gratefully acknowledged.