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    Content by Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson
    The following institutions have funded our research and supported our work:

    From 2013-2015 Mika is a guest professor at the eLab at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee

    From July - December 2013 Hannah was a researcher at the UdK's Design Research Lab

    From 2010-2012 Mika was a guest researcher in the Smart Textiles Design Lab at The Swedish School of Textiles

    From 2009 - 2011 Hannah was a graduate student in the MIT Media Lab's High-Low Tech research group led by Leah Buechley


    In 2009 Hannah and Mika were both research fellows at the Distance Lab


    Between 2003 - 2009 Hannah and Mika were both students at Interface Cultures
    We support the Open Source Hardware movement. All our own designs published on this website are released under the Free Cultural Works definition
    Traces

    Lasercut Fabric Circuits and Traces

    Fabric PCB’s are flexible, washable (hopefully) and sewable, even with sewing machines. The method we used is basically following the fabric PCB from Leah Buechley. You need a laser cutter to do this method, since the cut pieces are quite small and needs to be accurate. It will be quite difficult to cut this by hand.

    We made 16 pin DIP breakout which you can mount 4051 multiplexer, or any chip which has the same footprint will fit.

    As a result, it works wonderfully! ..At least for the moment. we have to check how it changes the electrical property over time with touching/wearing/washing.We will do the wash and wear test to see if it is actually useable for full scale wearable projects.

    conductive fabric comparison: 

    fabric solderable connection resistance
    Stretchy conductive fabric no folding 5 ohm
    FlecTron yes solder 2 ohm
    CobalTex yes solder 5 ohm
    ShieldIt Super no conductive pen 0.2 ohm


    For more detail on each conductive fabric, check CONDUCTIVE FABRICS post

     

    How to… :

    materials:
     -conductive fabric 
     -cotton fabric
     –fusible interfacing (iron-on)
     -16pin DIP socket
    -solder  (if necessary)
    -conductive pen (if necessary)
    -Hot glue 

    tools:
    -laser cutter 
    -iron
    -hot glue
    -needle (thick one) 

    * we tried four kinds of conductive fabrics. FlecTron Conductive Fabric is solderable, although, tarnishes with skin oils and changes the resistance drastically. Therefore it is not recommended material for fabric PCB.

    Step 1: 
    Fuse the fusible interfacing on conductive fabric using iron.

    Step 2:
    Place the conductive fabric on laser cutter and cut it to the shape of conductive trace for your PCB design.
    Make sure that the fusible side is facing up so that laser hits the non reflective (fusible) side.
    Our example design of fabric PCB for 16 pin DIP breakout is here>> 
    16pinDip_breakout1.pdf16pinDip_breakout2.pdf  

     Step 3:
     place double sided tape on ironing board (or wood board). This tape is used to hold the center part of the cut conductive fabric in place. This is the part, where the DIP pin goes in, and the trace has to be spaced exactly. 
    Now place the cut conductive fabric in shape facing the fusible side up.
      
     
    Step 4:
    Cut off the conductive fabric in between the conductive traces out by using scissors. 
      

    Step 5:
    place the base cotton fabric on the conductive traces and iron it to glue them together in place.
      

    Step 6:
    cut off the edge of the conductive traces so you can detach it from rest of the conductive fabric.
      

    Step 7:
    fold the outer part of the conductive trace to the other side of the base fabric and glue them together with iron. 
      

    Step 8:
    make holes where the DIP pin goes in with thick needles. Here, I am using a needle for sewing leather. This makes it easier when you insert the DIP pin legs through fabric.

    Step 9:
    Insert the DIP pin legs through base fabric and conductive fabric trace and place it on the PCB from base fabric side. The pins should be sticking out on the conductive trace side. Make sure that it does not make a false connection to unwanted conductive traces.
      

    Step 10:
    When all the pins are successfully inserted through fabrics, fold pins inward toward center. This is enough for stretchy conductive fabric version to make a connection between pins and fabric. FlecTron Conductive FabricFlecTron Conductive Fabric version may need a drop of solder to secure the connection. (be careful to not to burn the fabric when soldering. it helps to practice it with extra FlecTron fabric piece before doing this) Also Conductive Pen works good to make a connection between conductive fabric to pins.
      
      

    Step 11:
    Hot glue the PIN-fabric connection part to secure and protect the connection.  
      

    Original Fabric lilypad arduino by Leah Buechley

    The above trials are inspired by the original fabric lilypad made by Leah Buechley. Please visit her tutorial to get more details on her techniques.
    >> http://hlt.media.mit.edu/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Main.FarbicPCB

    How to make a super simple Fabric PCB tutorial (by Leah Buechley)
    >> http://newtextiles.media.mit.edu/2010/pmwiki.php?n=Main.FabricPCBs

    8 Comments so far

    1. anshul on June 7th, 2010

      Sir,
      I’m a engineering student and want to know the process of designing of PCB at my home.
      >>> like chemicals , intruments or apparatus used…………

    2. numan on February 19th, 2011

      I’m a engineering student and want to know the process of designing of PCB at my home( like chemicals , intruments or apparatus used………..)
      please tell me the method .thanks

    3. Sanlucar de Barrameda Property on March 28th, 2012

      Post writing is also a excitement, if you know
      then you can write if not it is difficult to write.

    4. shenbagavalli on April 2nd, 2012

      sir
      i am doing a antenna project.i want to fabricate my design using the fabric substrate.is it possible to design for ourselves or else i have to buy

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