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    Content by Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson
    E-Textile Tailor Shop by KOBAKANT
    The following institutions have funded our research and supported our work:

    Since 2020, Hannah is guest professor of the Spiel&&Objekt Master's program at the University of Performing Arts Ernst Busch in Berlin

    From 2013-2015 Mika was 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

    Shape and Memorize

    This is a 4 days workshop at the Weissensee Art Academy Berlin as a part of the Textile and Surface design course. The workshop will take place from December 9th to 13th.

    In this workshop, we will look into using Shape Memory Alloy (SMA), understanding the basics of SMA, how to set/memorize the shape, how to activate the shape using electricity, how one can control the sequence with Arudino microcontroller and how it can be used in design projects.

    Shape Memory Alloy (SMA)

    A shape-memory alloy is an alloy that can be deformed when cold but returns to its pre-deformed (“remembered”) shape when heated. …. The two most prevalent shape-memory alloys are copper-aluminium-nickel and nickel-titanium (NiTi), but SMAs can also be created by alloying zinc, copper, gold and iron. …. The shape memory effect (SME) occurs because a temperature-induced phase transformation reverses deformation, as shown in the previous hysteresis curve. Typically the martensitic phase is monoclinic or orthorhombic (B19′ or B19). Since these crystal structures do not have enough slip systems for easy dislocation motion, they deform by twinning—or rather, detwinning. (from Wikipedia)

    Here is a very nice explanation of how SMA works.

    Example Projects

    So, what can you do with this material?
    Here are some examples of Shape memory alloy used in design/art projects.

    Animated Vines by Jie Qi
    video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/rOrlMOtq3-A

    video: http://www.philipbeesleyarchitect.com/sculptures/0935mexicocity_hylozoicsoil/video.php

    Responsive Surfaces by Paula van Brummelen

    Embedded Movement by Paula van Brummelen
    video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfP8JmCRRYw

    The Culture by Afroditi Psarra and Dafni Papadopoulou
    video: https://vimeo.com/123312352

    Bacterial Motility by Erdem Kiziltoprak
    video: https://vimeo.com/25375900

    Lotus by Daan Roosegaarde
    video: https://vimeo.com/18002972

    Not SMA, but also interesting moving surface projects
    Techno Naturology by Elaine Ng Yan Ling
    video: https://vimeo.com/14522270

    Playtime by Ying Gao
    video: https://vimeo.com/33251948

    Responsive Knit by Jane Scott
    Video: https://vimeo.com/108646924

    Programmable Materials by Self-Assembly Lab

    ShapeShift by Manuel Kretzer
    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=4XGVMXCxBNA&feature=emb_logo

    Emotional Dialogue by Svenja Keune
    video: https://vimeo.com/108126805


    The materials we have in this workshops are:
    Nitinol Wire 0.1mm 60 degrees activation
    Nitinol Wire 0.25mm 60 degrees activation
    Nitinol Wire 0.25mm 20 degrees activation
    Nitinol Wire 0.7mm 60 degrees activation
    Nitinol Foil 0.3mm 50 degrees activation
    Nitinol wires come from here >>


    People have different way to memorize, or perform “shape setting”. Some people use open fire (candle light, blow torch…), some uses Kiln oven. You will need to heat it up over 500 degrees and cool down rapidly afterwards to set the shape. I use this method with heat gun to set the shape.

    You can make them into any shape… but if you plan to move surface, some works better than the other. Here are some examples.
    Petal Shape: https://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=3396
    Jie’s Tutorial >> http://highlowtech.org/?p=1448

    Coil Shape: https://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=5276
    Afroditi and Paula’s projects are using coil shape-set SMA

    two way effect

    The shape setting is only one-way movement. So one needs to think of the combination of materials to create the counter movement to pull the wire back. There is also a way to set two shapes, but we do not have the facility to set two shapes. Here is a video that shows different possibilities of SMA uses.

    SMA vs. Gravity/weight : Animated Vines by Jie Qi
    SMA vs. Material tension : The Culture by Afroditi Psarra and Dafni Papadopoulou
    SMA vs. SMA: Embedded Movement by Paula van Brummelen
    Pulley system: HYLOZOIC SOIL By Philip BEESLEY

    connecting with Arduino

    To control the activation of the SMA, we have to switch 1-2A current. The output current of the Arudino’s pins is 40mA (0.04A) max so it is far from what the SMA needs for heating up. To switch high current, you can use transistor switch with low internal resistance mosFET (so the mosFET component does not get hot instead of wire).

    N-channel mosFET IRLR8743 Pinout

    Transistor switch for SMA using N-channel mosFET IRLR8743

    Here is the example of breadboard use with the above circuit. The open red and black cables on the right side is connected to Power bench, red to the + cable of the bench, black to the – cable of the bench.

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