My best π day

My best π day was in 1975 when I invented a new way to estimate π using elementary geometry and algebra. This wasn’t a particularly important result for the mathematical world because there were already so many ways to estimate π but it was one of those moments I can see now as watershed that strongly shaped the rest of my life.

Where there is a Whug there is a Way: Triaxial e-textile Breadboard


Rectangular grids are dominant forms in electronics and textiles. Triaxial grids have not been explored in e-textile work so this breadboard is offered to begin these explorations. Triaxial grids sample the plane with higher density and the availability of whug connections as well as warp and woof simplifies circuits by providing a natural power/ground/signal triple.


The basic 3x3x3 configuration is made by sticking conductive copper tape on strips of basket-weaving reed. This is intended to evoke the thousands of year old traditions of basket weaving and invite 3-d explorations.

Card stock is easier to procure and stick the tape to. The idea is to use a substrate that won’t burn when you solder to the tape. Substitute fabric ribbons if you are going to sew to the breadboard instead.

I used pins to lock down two of parallel rows of 3 strips and then slid in the final row, guiding them over and under as required. The example has charlieplexed LED’s soldered on but this is just to start you thinking about how you might use such a dense array of available conductors.

Consider replacing a central strip with one with copper tape on both sides. Work out which conductors are then connected. Now consider sandwiching piezoresistive fabric between intersecting conductors. Can you use this to read an array of pressures sensors?

core memory beading
triaxial textiles
basket weaving

Materials: Cane, copper tape

Techniques: Weaving

The provided swatches will just be the breadboard. Illustrated are some LED’s controlled by Charlieplexing.

Circuit Diagram:

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