Digitool Handsfree - bracer and brooch

Made by Allison Rexrode · UNLISTED (SHOWN IN POOLS)

The goals of this project is to create a way to hold pins and other sewing tools in a hands-free way to assist when in fittings.

Created: October 24th, 2018



In fittings, my hands are often occupied with actively handling the clothes and adjusting it on the person. This makes it difficult to to reach for tools or pins, even when they are actively needed. I had a bulky magnet bracelet that slid around my wrist. Eventually it broke, leaving me with no good way to hold pins nearby. The bracer will allow for a tight fit on the arm, and the leather will be more comfortable than the generically fit plastic I used previously. 

To compliment the bracer is a 3D printed brooch based off a Victorian chatelaine: a decorative brooch that held chained tools. It is to be worn on the waist to have all tools nearby, and still remain hands free. These chains can hold a seam ripper, small scissors, and other helpful items. 


Research and Context

The design is based on the the wrist bands that hairdressers use to hold small scissors, which seemed like a secure way to hold to the arm. The detail laser etched is a decorative trilobite. The 3D printed brooch is a modernized reinterpretation of an antique trilobite brooch, as a compliment.



These were some rough sketching detailing the dimensions that the bracer should be and what the trilobite shape should look like. In early concepts, the bracer had holders for small tools, but was ultimately determined to be unnecessary with the chatelaine, and the removal of those details allowed for a larger pin base.


Illustrator and Fusion 360

The bracer was sketched out in Illustrator and the trilobite image set so it would be etched, instead of cut.

The trilobite brooch was modeled in Fusion 360. I started off a base image of a trilobite to determine overall shape. Once I had an outline, I began building up the figure. After much trial and error, the loft tool was the most helpful application in the program. To use the loft tool, I needed to create multiple planes for the various areas of the trilobite to create a distinct head an body shape. Instead of creating rings, holes were added, for strength when holding the chain.


I tested the laser etching on cardboard first, to make sure the details were coming out crisp. After little success, I sought assistance through the Ideate help hours, and was able to successfully cut and etch on the leather. I started with a flat, but weak magnet and it was not strong enough to hold pins though the leather. I then moved to a stronger magnet with a larger profile, which incidentally makes it easier to grab pins from the surface. 

The 3D printing was completed on the Ultimaker. The holes for the links are currently a bit small and too close to the edge to be weight bearing. They need to be larger and inset for full functionality. 


Final Photos 

Share this Project

This project is only listed in this pool. Be considerate and think twice before sharing.


62-478 digiTOOL

· 65 members

Digital Tooling (DigiTool) provides a platform for any CMU student to learn Digital Fabrication processes; all of which are very hands-on. Like these processes, this class is also very hands-on. I...more


The goals of this project is to create a way to hold pins and other sewing tools in a hands-free way to assist when in fittings.