For the next iteration, I created the ‘exoskeleton’ that wraps around the face. In this instance, I overcompensated and gave the hairs way too much room and they barely touch the face. This was more of a test run as I wasn’t sure if I even had the right thickness of material, or how well it would fit the face (it fits me ok, others, not so much)- in the end I ran out of time. Learned a lot, though..
To get the setae to sit against my face, we used a 3D scan…
It was difficult to create an organic shape on top of an organic shape (face). By the end of this assignment I probably had 100 different guidelines. My first test was too tight, the hairs could barely move:
A good samaritan classmate helped me 3D print some setae to test out size/shape of the hair and it’s base. I AM ECSTATIC over my first 3D print, it’s wonderful to have a design take shape as material object!
The flesh colored ABS I bought is a little unnerving- I thought it would be shiny but it’s not so it actually kind of looks like skin. An insect exoskeleton is rigid and armor-like, (and sheer, shiny) so I thought it would be interesting to have an exoskeleton colored the same way as soft skin- now I’m not so sure, maybe a translucent filament would be better.
After MUCH thought I’ve abandoned visual for tactile- I will create a mask inspired by insect exoskeletons, with moveable ‘sensory hairs’ pressed against the face. Insects are covered with numerous barbs/hairs called setae, some of which have sensory purposes. Their exoskeleton is formed out of a resin-like protein called chitin. When imaged with the scanning electron microscope, the exoskeleton can look as if made of opaque plastic- because of this I’ve been dying to 3D print forms inspired by electron microscopy.