8. Feb 25th-Mar 3rd: More electronics and laser cutting fabric grids#
End of February prototyping update
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
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.
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!
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
- alternating longer and shorter slits for thread and fabric strips
- a ground trace that goes all around the edges
- A better system for sewing on the IC that results in less potential short circuiting
More soft modules#
I need to also transfer:
- the amplifier module
- the capacitors for the oscillator circuit
to soft circuitry
Then I need to figure out how everything will fit together. I also still want to make more modules, including
- XOR metallic sounds
- drum sounds
But realistically I won’t get all that done ◔ᴗ◔