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8. Wearables

Introduction

picture at UCLA

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet my Fabricademy mentor, Nuria Robles Miguélez, at UCLA on Wednesday... even if it was only for 15 minutes! She gave me an e-textile student kit from FabLab Leon and I have described that kit below. Here's a picture of us meeting!

Results

Velostat

What is velostat? Velostat is a type of electrically conductive material that exhibits variable resistance based on the amount of pressure applied to it. When pressure is applied to the velostat, its resistance decreases. The addition of velostat into a circuit to create pressure-sensitive switches such as turning on or off an LED.

In the e-textile kit shown below, velostat is used as a pressure-sensitive switch to turn on and off an LED.

Setting up among us e-textile

velostat

Figure 1. E-textile Gift from FabLab Leon I was so excited to build this cute Among Us character that I spent my birthday evening making it! The instructions were very easy to follow visually. I think this is such a cool way to introduce young people to the world of electronics. It inspired me to think about ways I might build off of this concept in my own work with students.


Video. Completed Among Us character Completed velostat/LED circuit student kit from FabLab Leon, courtesy of Nuria.

Heating Element

mushroom circuit

Figure 1. Mushroom season! My slippers inspired me to create a circuit with a theme of mushrooms. I decided to try to make a heating element circuit combined with thermochromic paint to build off my experience with it during the E-textiles week.

mushroom circuit close up

Figure 2. Heating element circuit diagram. Courtesy of Liza Stark. Found under lecture notes for 2023-24.

mushroom circuit close up

Figure 3. Heating element circuit close up. I used conductive fabric tape to adhere to the surface of the felt. Aesthetically, it's not great but the tape is very convenient for piecing together a prototype.

Video. Magic Mushrooms! Final product with thermochromic paint and heating element circuit.

Discussion

I honestly wish I had more time to build all of the different circuits that were presented during this week. I am such a fan of electronics and e-textiles. I am looking forward to jumping back into these projects over summer vacation!

Methods and Materials

  • Among Us e-textile kit, from FabLab Leon
  • Conductive fabric tape
  • Conductive thread
  • FQP30N06L 60V LOGIC N-CHannel MOSFET
  • Cotton fabric
  • Thermochromic pigment
  • 100k Ohm resistor
  • 1N4001 Diode
  • Arduino UNO
  • Wires

Heating Element Code

from Liza Stark's "Wearables" lecture

const int heatingElementPin = 8; // Replace 8 with the actual pin number you are using

void setup() {
  pinMode(heatingElementPin, OUTPUT);
}

void loop() {
  // Start with smaller values and go up based on material
  digitalWrite(heatingElementPin, HIGH);
  delay(1000);

  // We always want to give the heating element and ink time to rest
  digitalWrite(heatingElementPin, LOW);
  delay(10000);
}