Exploratorium Demo 2010

Experimental, Portable eTextile Electronics Lab 2010

Now that I have assembled one of the largest collection of e-textile materials and associated tools I am trying to figure out the smallest winning subset that can form a portable lab.

eTextile Pressure Sensing Touch Pad

These are built by sandwiching a piece of porous, spacing fabric (e.g. tulle) between two sheets of piezoresistive fabrics (from Eeonyx). For the square pad depicted below rectangular sheets are placed at right angles and wrap around the frame. On the inside they are stapled to a conductive strip on each edge. The four edges are wired to the analog inputs of a suitable microcontroller, e.g.

Two Way Fabric Leaf Switch

This is assembled using hot melt adhesive backed conductive copper fabric.

Pressure Sensing Ball using eeontex Resistive spandex

A hard ball is surrounded by crumpled resistive fabric (nylon and spande)x and trapped by a round ball of silicone with holes in it. Sensing in various orientations is achieved by wrapping conductors between the holes of the silicon ball.

Fabric Slide Potentiometer

A loop of conductive thread is sewn on either side of the base fabric under the flaps. An inverted toggle from a clasp for jeans is used to short each conductor lowering the resistance of the loop.

Young Makers OPENMAKE event at the SF Exploratorium

See video
I showed e-textile wearables, some of my materials collection and many soft circuits including musical instruments. The wearable theme continues for the month of March. You can see many of the things I showed as part of an exhibit that includes great works from local wearables artist Grace Kim, Hannah Perner-Wilson, and Leah Buechley.
San Francisco Exploratorium

etextile Leaf Switch with Iron-on hot melt adhesive

Iron on a small strip of the copper fabric to a non-conductive base. Cut the fabric, and fold over a small section and iron it to itself creating a small flap. Attach another piece of fabric, and iron it close enough to come in contact with the small flap.

Soft Circuit LED paper lamp

This simple-to-build lamp uses a flexible LED strip with both back and front firing surface mount LED's to create rich interactions with both paper and the surface the lamp is placed on. The back firing yellow LED's are diffused by the paper. Light from the rear firing red LED's is scattered and illuminates the water mark thru the paper. Direct and scattered light interacts at the edges of the cylinder. A gap in the plastic tape holding the tube together create a slit of light projected behind the lamp.

FSR demonstrator

This demonstrator demonstrates force sensing resistance. It is made on adapting a sample (obtainable as a business card) from Sensitronics. Conductive copper plated fabric tape holds the coin cell down and provides connections to the silver ink on the mylar film. A gull wing led is taped in series with the FSR and coin cell to illustrate current flow when the black flap of piezoresistive polymer ink is pressed down onto the interdigitated conductive array.

Woven Conductor Switch Appliqué

There is a hole in the felt between the vertical and conductive strips. The conductors are secured in this small example by hot melt adhesive.
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