breakfast studio construct screen made of 6,400 spools of thread
all images courtesy of breakfast







rapid product and prototyping company breakfast, developed a 6,400 mechanical, color changing spools of thread screen for clothing store forever 21. the 2,000 pounds machine can dynamically display images and basic animations with the mechanical spools of thread. each spool is driven by a custom belt made of fabric that can display one of 36 colors, making up a larger image at an 80 by 80 resolution. 


live feed of the thread screen in forever 21 store
video courtesy of forever 21





every ribbon also features a reflective strip which is scanned by an infrared sensor, which tells the computer the color each spool is showing, allowing for corrections for any slop that may occur. the ‘f21 thread screen’ took over a year and a half to make, and is one of the most complex ideas ever built by the studio with over 200,000 parts. every component in the breakfast f21 thread screen, from the motors to the gears, have been custom designed, engineered and manufactured from scratch. 

each spool is driven my a custom belt made of fabric


it can display one of 36 colors


making of the ‘f21 thread screen’
video courtesy of breakfast


the forever 21 spools


the 2,000 pounds machine is made of aluminum