8. Feb 25th-Mar 3rd: More electronics and laser cutting fabric grids#

End of February prototyping update

Video documentation#

This week I made videos of what I’ve done so far:

Two interacting oscillators controlled by soft sensors:

Hard to soft#

The next step was to start transferring my ‘hard’ breadboard circuit into a ‘soft’ textile one.

Laser cutting a grid#

I went back to Illustrator and made a quick square grid to laser cut out of fabric. I used a rubber coated fabric, and used speed 100, power 40. (I tested higher powers but this one worked fine).

Attaching the IC socket#

I used a pliers to bend the legs of a 14 pin IC socket so that they faced outwards. I was a little rough with this part and ended up breaking one of the legs - note to self, be more careful this time! Next I used regular, non-conductive, thread to sew the IC socket onto the fabric securely

grid design and with IC socket sewn in

Sewing conductive traces#

I chose a stainless steel conductive thread (you can get it from Adafruit here), as it’s thin enough to be relatively easy to work with, but it’s also quite stiff/springy, so it forms nice loops. I used the grid holes to sew the thread onto the fabric easily. I tested out a couple of different trace designs. I also stuck in some pieces of fabric where traces crossed over, to prevent short circuits.

sewn IC


At this point the IC and the resistors have been transferred to soft circuitry, so I stuck the 40106 IC in its socket, assembled the remaining parts of the circuit on a breadboard and connected everything up. And it works!

hybrid circuit

Next steps#

That’s about all I got done this week, and there’s plenty more to do!

Improving the design#

I want to adjust the design so that there are

More soft modules#

I need to also transfer:

to soft circuitry

Then I need to figure out how everything will fit together. I also still want to make more modules, including

But realistically I won’t get all that done ◔ᴗ◔