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The day has come, the year is here and the future is now. In Back to the Future Part II, Marty and the Doc travel to the near future, what date do they arrive on? October 21st, 2015.

My love for dynamic wearables and the movie Back the Future Part II sparked the desire to make Marty McFly's auto-adjusting jacket a reality. Taking a glimpse into a future where auto-sizing garments can exist, the jacket sleeves start off too long, then go up as if they are auto-adjusting to the correct size. This happens by using a 3D printed pulley mechanism and micro gearmotors. When a button on the jacket hem is pushed, cables are wound around a pulley, drawing the sleeves up. The cables are threaded through a simple tube system built inside the jacket and sleeves.

Big thanks to JON-A-TRON for collaborating with me to make the pulley mechanism a reality. The design of the mechanism is adapted from Paolo Salvagione's 3D printed bearing with driven miter gear.

Step 1: Gather Materials

I started with a bought jacket as a base to build on. Any jacket can be used that has sleeves. It's best to start with one that is made from heavier material, such as real or faux leather. The mechanism will be sewn to it and a bit of force will be applied. A thin material may sag and not perform well under pressure from movement.

The gears are left exposed, if I were to design a garment from scratch a place for them to be hidden could be designed in as well. For this project, something would need to be added, such as a hood or maybe a back pack. In my opinion, adding a cover to the mechanism would add unnecessary bulk plus the gears look very cool on their own.


Jacket and Sleeve Materials + Tools

- Halloweencostumes.com BTTF 2 Jacket : Mine is a size Medium

- 3 yards of grey polyester poplin

- 5 to 8 yards of medium weight black fusible interfacing (yardage depends on width).

- 2 yards of stiff fusible, the stiffer, the better. I found some that was a non-woven and was laminated. It felt like plastic and worked very well.

- 2 three yard packs of 1" double fold binding in Lt. Grey

- Ribbed black vinyl runner : Get enough to cover 2.5" x 40" (jacket hem) and 1.25" x 20" (jacket cuffs). It can be found at a local hardware store in different widths and sold by the foot.

- 3 yards of 3/16" clear vinyl tubing : I found some at my local hardware store.

- Strong braided cord : I used fishermen sinking braid called TUF- Line

- 2 red square tactile switches (one is just for show)

- 1 DPDT rocker switch

- 1 yellow or orange LED

- Heavy-duty red thread

- 1/4 yard of black eye tape (you do not need the hook side)

- Small piece of red and grey leather

- Heavy-duty hand needles

- Seam ripper

- Sharp scissors

- Fray Check

Mechanism Parts

Hardware from McMaster-Carr, low-power gear motor from Pololu.

#96415K71 316 Stainless Steel Precision Ball, 1/8" Diameter

#94150A305 Metric Type 316 Stainless Steel Hex Nut, M2 Size, .4mm Pitch, 4mm Width, 1.6mm Height

#90116A007 Metric 316 Stainless Steel Pan Head Phillips Machine Screw, M2 Size, 3mm Length, .4mm Pitch

#90116A020 Metric 316 Stainless Steel Pan Head Phillips Machine Screw, M2 Size, 10mm Length, .4mm Pitch

#92000A001 Metric 316 Stainless Steel Pan Head Phillips Machine Screw, M1.6 Size, 3mm Length, .35mm Pitch

2 #1097 150:1 Micro Metal Gearmotor

Access to:

- 3D printer

- Sewing machine

- Laser cutter

- Walking-foot sewing machine for sewing on black vinyl hem and cuffs.

<p>Nice Work Good. I am a big fan of back to the future</p>
<p>Such a cool project! You actually managed to make it work and still be fashionable! :) Maybe next move would be full length jacket? Don't stop creating! :)</p>
<p>OMG awesome!, !'m a big fan of back to the future</p>
<p>Awesome job!!!!! I love how simple the mechanism is!</p>
<p>good job! Now off to making the real deal up to date and much more cooler, you could have bracelets that sensors pick up on so the sleeves know when to stop and you can use a coat thats more now-ish. I reccomend making your own motors with &quot;20 to 30 guage magnetic silver wire&quot; and using an soft iron core (I wanna eventually replace this with bucky paper in my builds but it's an experimental idea), this way the pulleys can be made smaller and more lightweight, more powerful, less electric charge, and can be placed inside the material. Silver magnet wire is cheaper than copper magnet wire and more efficient, only because you need less silver wire than copper wire to achieve the same result. it can also be bought even cheaper if your willing to insulate it yourself. ..... I should really be making an instructable on making electric motors lol. Happy Making !</p>
<p>I like how the project, the jacket itself, is pretty lo-tech. However you used a CNC laser cutter and a 3d printer to make it. The Future is now!</p>
<p>Now an all-surface hoverboard and we're all set.</p><p>Nice work!</p>
<p>Heavy!</p>
<p>Is there a problem with gravity there? :D</p>
<p>Amazing job!</p>
<p>Wow :D this is amazing! Great tutorial!</p>
<p>Thank you!</p>
where did you get the hat?
<p>I got it from tvstoreonline.com. They still have them! http://www.tvstoreonline.com/back-to-the-future-part-ii-marty-mcfly-cap-hat-replica/</p>
<p>Amazeballs!!</p>
<p>This is pretty amazing :)</p>
That's awesome
This is very cool. You nailed it!
<p>Amazing prop replica! I am definitely voting for this.</p>
<p>Great Scot!!</p>
<p>This is pretty darn amazing :D</p>
Intense!!
<p>amazing! </p><p>when the Doc and Marty get here the world will truly be wearing these!</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: Specializing in sewing, soldering and snacking. More stuff I do... I teach an interactive fashion and textile class called Wearable and Soft Interactions at California ... More »
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