I worked with Final Frontier Design to build a next-generation spacesuit glove for NASA.
The glove is designed on a completely different architecture than the ones currently being used on the ISS – it acts like a second skin to adapt to your body as you move. This technology (called Mechanical Counterpressure or MCP) allows it to be slimmer, more dextrous, and allow the astronaut to distinguish much finer feedback through touch than the old “Michelin Man” suit design.
I developed a single component that was central to the design: an integrated gasket, airlock, and pressure garment called the Wrist Dam. The Wrist Dam has to transform, first getting out of the way of the astronaut to allow them to put their hand into the glove quickly, and then expanding to form a flexible but airtight seal with the skin. The process centered around 3d printed molding that allowed for rapid iterations on cast silicone wrist dam designs with different fabric integrations, forms, and details to optimize it. The final dam was integrated into the glove system by Ted Southern and Nick Mosieev at Final Frontier Design and passed all of its tests over at Johnson Space Center.
You can find more details about the development and testing on FFD’s Blog, and Parabolic Arc.