BackX is a project I did for SuitX, a startup in the San Francisco Bay Area that is doing great things.  They are making solutions for people with mobility deficiencies and industry workers that do repetitive lifting.  Modular exoskeletons that can aid movement for improved quality of life and therapy.  For industry workers they reduce the load so people have less physical stress on their bodies. 
When I found them, they had their metal components developed. I had the opportunity to develop the soft goods components for the BackX for Industrial workers. The brief was to:
-Protect the users spine from direct metal skeleton contact in the case of a fall
-Create a look that would make the spartan metal skeleton look more desirable for the workforce to wear
-Simple to produce 

Here's their suit being worn that supports the back and upper leg.

Process
I was given the Solidworks assembly for the exoskeleton and began sketching over the model. First round of sketches:
Second round of sketches:

This exploded view shows materials, components for adjustment and closures, and their layering.

This was the final sketch direction before physical prototyping began. It was chosen because it had the right combination of user protection, component coverage, visual interest, and manufacturability.

Now the physical prototyping begins!

This is early material layering after I worked up the initial patterns.  Shown are layers of rigid plastic sheet, nylon cordura, cotton edging (for the prototype) and metal hardware (grommet and snaps). This is where a lot of the fun begins - on the Industrial Sewing machine!  I did all of the sewing on the prototypes myself.

This is the lower back pad and how it envelopes the structure. The central knob is a pivot point that allows for freedom of the users movement.

Here I am holding the service flap open to show the hip attachment bar width adjustment. After adjustments are made, the user snaps the flap closed to protect the structure as well as protect the work environment from the metal components.

This is an early full back pad assembly (upper and lower back). The upper pad protects the shoulder blades.

This was my final prototype for SuitX. It was a show and photoshoot ready sample (completely functional).

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