Parametric modelling & digital manufacturing for better bra fit
This research focuses on developing an overall system for a more accurate bra design and fit. The bra, consequently, becomes part of a life-long service system that is able to adapt to both physical and personal desires of different types of bra wearers. Due to the symbiotic relationship between bra fit and bra design, a parametric system has also been designed in order to digitize the measuring process. This process explores the possibility of bringing the bra into a product-service- system framework. Individuality will not only be in the form of taste, preference, attitude, and aesthetics, but also through one’s inherent breast shape, structure, contours, and asymmetry. Under this paradigm, the designed bra system should not operate independently of its intended users and must always connect back to individual needs at every stage. For instance, to understand what makes a good fit cannot merely rely on the knowledge gained from literature or industry standards. To understand what makes a good fit, bra wearers themselves must be invited to offer their input. Therefore, this research could also be considered part of a human-centered design methodology. As such, this work was conducted as a mixed-methods approach with a combination of qualitative and quantitative processes. Unlike traditional bra fitting methods, this system utilizes advanced technologies and digital manufacturing techniques. Using technologies such as 3D scanning, to consider additional factors that are not currently considered, such as breast outline, shape, and asymmetry. This research also investigated the role of 3D knitting to fill the gap of customization and individualization at a mass production level, as well as serving as an innovative approach to respond to bra fitting and design issues. The data accumulated helped influence unique bra designs in order to ensure better individual bra fit, whilst also acting as a medium to give the bra wearer a better understanding of their breast measurements, and how the bra fits on them. Finally, the thesis compares, contrasts and identifies gaps within current methods for bra fitting and bra design, a parametric modelled measuring system, and final designed bra prototypes. Overall, it resulted in an effective parametric measuring system, which is able to adapt to individual 3D scans. Additionally, it was suggested that the 3D knitted prototype bra provided improved alternatives to a traditional bra, such as a seamless knitted underwire, which provides a more comfortable and flexible fit. Furthermore, our hope is to increase consumer engagement and awareness about their own breasts and individual bra fit. After all, if the necessary information can be provided to the consumer regarding how to achieve a good bra fit, then this could help the consumer’s ability for self-selecting better bra fit and enhance the satisfaction they receive from all bras. Therefore, the research might have a broad positive impact on a large size of the population.