New Member Intro and Advice/Checkout Request - Alysa M

Hi there!

My name is Alysa. I’m a multidisciplinary artist just getting involved in the Makerspace, and I’m so excited to collaborate and broaden my skill sets!

I have lots of projects I plan to work on in the future, but my main focus right now is starting a bra business. I have Pectus Excavatum (Funnel Chest Deformity), and have never been able to find bras that work for me. The more I searched online, the more obvious it became that this was a problem for everyone with PE who wears bras. I spent a year brainstorming and prototyping, and I now have working prototypes for both an underwire bra and a sports bra.

The underwire is a “W” shaped strip of thermoplastic that each person can dip in hot water and mold to their chest for a custom fit, since everyone’s deformity is different. I am in the process of getting a tech pack put together and finding manufacturers for the sewing portion, but I’m planning on manufacturing the underwires myself.

The thermoplastic comes in 18 x 24 x 1/8 in sheets, and is most often used for splinting. AliMed Multiform For the prototypes I’ve just been cutting them out with scissors, but obviously that method wont be sustainable or efficient for production. :joy:

I was thinking I could cut them with the CNC machine or the laser cutter? Does anyone have thoughts on which would be best for this material? And is anyone available to check me out on the correct machine? I know the new CNC machine is still being set up, so I realize I may not be able to check out on that one yet.

Thanks for your time and I look forward to meeting you all!

Alysa Miller

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Welcome! That material sounds interesting. I think I have a mask made out of a similar heat moldable substance that held me in place for radiation treatment.

It will be a while before the CNC is finished being set up and the procedures and check out process created. It would probably cut that material very well with single flute bit and the right settings.

The laser might also work and even be a little easier and more efficient, but the problem is that some plastics generate poisonous gasses when burned. If you could find a SDS (safety data sheet) from the manufacturer it would list any “hazardous decomposition products.”