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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
    Sensors

    3D Printed Sensors

    Attempts to 3D print a variety of sensors from conductive ABS material in collaboration with FabLab Berlin. Interestingly the resistance of the material decreases when bent, implying that the electrical connections are being broken in the material because it is being stretched or damaged. When pressured the resistance through the material decreases.

    Materials:
    >> 1.75mm ABS Conductive (black)
    >> 1.75mm Flex EcoPLA black

    Tools:
    >> Flashforge Creator 3D printer that can print two materials from two nozzles

    bend sensor

    Resistance of 1.75mm ABS Conductive before printing:
    relaxed = 301 Kilo Ohm, bent = 846 Kilo Ohm

    Resistance of 1.75mm ABS Conductive after being printed in U shape on Flex EcoPLA base. Both materials are black so you can’t really see what is what:
    relaxed = 34 Mega Ohm, bent = 38 Mega Ohm

    The Circuit

    To read and visualize the change in electrical resistance of the material we use the following circuit: an arduino lilypad functions as the analog to digital converter, reading analog values from the sensor and sending them over the serial port (USB) to the computer. The Arduino code is a combination of the “graph” example with “smoothing”.

    Because the resistance of the 3D printed conductive material is so high (32 – 38 Mega Ohm) the voltage divider needs to have a similarly high value. A 16 Mega Ohm pull-up resistor was made by cutting a thin strip of Eeontex non-woven fabric.

    A sketch written in Processing visualizes the values in a graph. The Processing code is taken from the Arduino “graph” example.

    Video of 1.75mm ABS Conductive before printing:

    Video of 1.75mm ABS Conductive after being printed in U shape on Flex EcoPLA base:

    pressure sensor

    …coming soon…

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