We had such a wonderful range of eTextile materials at the summer camp. Unfortunately the camp lasts only 5 days, and it was definitely not enough time to explore all the materials…
So, we decided to pack the left over materials as “doggy bag” and send the surprise package to the participants. We are expecting exciting experiments results to emerge from these materials!
If you do an experiments, tri-outs or a project with the doggy bag material, please post it here so the others can see and get inspired with it.
Investigating conductive threads with an usb microscope
This resulted in an album with close up pictures of the different threads:
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You get more insight in the structure of the conductive threads, quite surprising sometimes!
2. Solving the mystery of the woven thermo chromic heating optical fiber pad (made during the workshop of Sarah Taylor and Meg Grant.) This puzzle is published here:
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3. I was stupid enough to advice students to buy some conductive thread without looking carefully at the item (Plug and Wear). So they bought the conductive yarn which is also found in the Doggy Bag: NM 10/3. This was not what they needed!
I had to investigate: it only conducts under tension, and has a relative high conductive value.
So ideal for a stretch sensor, and indeed (of course) Mika has used this property in her swatch :-).
Comparing the materals under the USB microscope tells a lot (but not all):
http://etextile-summercamp.org/2013/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/yarn-and-steel-thread.jpg 640w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /> http://etextile-summercamp.org/2013/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/conductive-yarn1a.jpg 640w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /> http://etextile-summercamp.org/2013/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/steel-thread.jpg 640w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /> http://etextile-summercamp.org/2013/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/conductive-yarn-and-silver-wound-thread.jpg 640w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />
You can see that the yarn with 20% steel is in reality having very few fibers of steel. Is this 20% weight or volume, probably weight….You can also see that the steel fibers are far apart, explaining the sudden “disconnections” if you take a length of over around 10 centimeters. When under tension the steel fibers do touch and the current can flow.
The known problems with the conductive thread of steel is corrosion (once experienced after hand felting) and static electrivity. I wanted to make a touch sensor with this thread (darlington array circuit) but this sensor was always activated due to accumulated static electricity on the fabric it was sewed on.
(Back tot the student project) So to get a switch contact between two seperated screens when you press it with your hand the students used in the end not the stainless steel, not the conductive yarn but simple aluminum foil sewed on strips of fabric, between the two screens. Low tec, but it surely works, for a few days….
pics of the test setup, with two screens left and right:
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http://etextile-summercamp.org/2013/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/test2.jpg 700w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />
http://etextile-summercamp.org/2013/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/test3.jpg 700w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />
The two screens have a connection to a hacked keyboard. The keystroke triggers a flash movie to take a snapshot picture, which is sent to a Facebook group using a PHP page. (Examples scripts can be found in the FB Developer site.)
Warming up instructable
Comparisons of conductive fabric and collecting even more experience on heating circuits, especially around combining lipo’s to get more voltage: