Sew together various soft electronic components to turn your favorite clothing item into a wearable waste of energy!
There are 7 different components to this wearable. And below is a list of the materials and tools you will need to complete them. The following 7 steps will explain how to make each of these components. And the idea is that you come up with your own design and layout for the components, and maybe even add some new elements.
So that the electricity can flow from the battery through the button or the
9V battery, battery snaps and little pocket
Once you have decided on the layout and design of your wearable you will have to plan in one 9V battery for almost every component you integrate. This is because the conductive fabric traces have quite a bit of resistance, thus suck quite a lot of energy, which contributes to the whole waste of energy idea.
To connect the 9V battery snaps to the conductive traces, strip the ends of the wires that come out of the battery snaps and make a little loop. Solder this so that it does not unravel. Use to sew the loop onto the end of the fused conductive trace.
You will want to make a pocket for your battery. Best to use stretchy fabric and cut it a bit smaller than the actual size of the battery so that the stretch will keep it in place. Also, make the pocket 2 or 3 cm longer than the battery, this way it stays in nicely, even when upside-down.
For this component you will want to follow the detailed instructions posted in the Three Fabric Buttons Instructable.
Fabric pressure sensor
For this component you will want to follow the detailed instructions posted in the Conductive Thread Pressure Sensor Instructable.
Vibration motor embedded in Shapelock
Strip the ends of the short wires coming out of a small vibration motor (the kind you find in cell phones) make loops in the wire and solder them just like the ends of the 9V battery snap wires.
Shapelock or polymorph is a very cool thermoplastic. It comes in small pellets and when you pour a handful of them into hot water they will melt and stick together. They are ready to mold when transparent. Take out the cluster of hot plastic pellets and shake off the hot water. Mold into solid form and then form around the small vibration motor, leaving the two soldered loops sticking out. In this example I simply soldered to these rings in order to connect them to the conductive trace, but the idea of embedding the motor in Shapelock is to make it washable (not in hot water though!) and so that the rings can also be stitched to the conductive traces with conductive thread. Getting rid of the wire, which is a good thing, in terms of wearability. I guess.
With a pair of small pliers curl the legs of the LED into little loops and sew these loops, using conductive thread, straight to the conductive fabric traces. Make sure that the LED’s plus goes to the battery’s plus!
Decorative elements: the doll and the sun
For the sun I simply cut a small circle of