Use of ato knit a circular stretch sensor from combinations of conductive and non-conductive yarns.
In the cases of the Inox steel fiber blend yarns, the stretch sensing is due to the structure of thewhich is made up of lots of short steel fibers mixed with polyester. Even without knitting the yarn into a structure you can use it as a stretch sensor by simply pulling it taught or relaxing it. But the yarn is not very strong and easy to tear. The knit structure allows you to accumulate more yarn and thus more resistance in less length and also by combining the conductive yarn with regular yarn you can gauge the sensitivity of the sensor by choosing a thicker or thinner yarn – thicker yarn gets more in the way of the conductive yarn making extra contact through the knitted loop structure. Plus knitting creates the stretchy structure giving you some natural tangible feedback.
Reading input from various knit stretch sensors with an
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#1) New conductive yarn obtained from Plug and Wear (more info soon)
#2) Nm 10/3 20% Inox, 80% PET knit with regular white yarn from Schoeller-Wool
#3) Nm 50/2 20% Inox, 80% PET knit with regular white yarn from Schoeller-Wool
#4) Nm 50/2 40% Inox, 60% PET knit with regular white yarn from Schoeller-Wool
#5) Nm 25/1 100% Inox steel fiber knit with regular white yarn from Schoeller-Wool
#6) Nm 20/2 30% Inox, 70% Laine wool pure from Wera-Tech
#7) Nm 20/2 30% Inox, 70% Laine wool knit with regular white yarn from Wera-Tech
#8) 117/17 2ply silver plated Nylon from Sparkfun and LessEMF
#9) 66/22 3ply 110 PET silver plated Nylon conductive thread from LessEMF
Stretch sensing properties of the individual conductive yarns used in the above shown video in the knit structures.
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Conductive yarn with this stretch sensing property can be hard to come by www.plugandwear.com currently sells a Nm 10/3 conductive yarn with these properties.
Circular knitting machines
Circular knitting machines range from 20-250$ in price and differ in diameter, number of needles and spacing of needles. Spool or wire knitters have only four needles and resemble manual knitting dolls, while the knitting machines resemble manual knitting wheels or looms.
Make your own
The following Instructable covers the making of a circular knit stretch sensor with a with the following models of circular and spool knitting machines:
– Play Go Knit Knit (17 Euro from Amazon Germany)
– Singer Spool Knitter (19$ from Amazon USA)
Video demonstration of both wide (circular knitting machine) and narrow (spool knitter) stretch sensors
Video of the full process of knitting and testing a circular
Video of the full process of knitting and testing a circular knit stretch sensor using the Singer Spool Knitter (5 minutes)