So, I’ve changed my project entirely and have decided to make a smart garment instead, also known as e-textile. In search for materials and ideas for my old project I have stumbled upon some e-textile projects on www.sparkfun.com and became very interested and thus decide to go for it. I hope that my project will combine technology and art in an interesting way. Also, we might just see e-txitle everywhere in the near future especially as technology progress.
After some research I have decided what materials and methods I will use, obviously there are few ways out there. Then, I ordered the dress shown in figure bellow, its blackness will enhance the LEDs brightness (yes I am using LEDs).
and this is a list of items/prices of what I ordered:
(It should say copper tape not table and fabric color not fabic)
Finally, I obtained about 50 yellow 3mm LEDs from project depot. I suspect that I am going to need more once I finalize my design.
Here are two pictures where I just tried to experiment with conductive thread and copper tape.
First challenge is the design itself, I have not decided on what I want. Associating a pattern/design on the dress with an artist such as Piet Mondrian (his art that I am referring to is shown bellow) or an art would be interesting. However, I could also go for simple decoration on the dress’s neck, for example.
Next, having a lot of LEDs means I might need many more batteries with adequate voltage and amperage ratings. Then, with lots of batteries comes the need to accommodate them in appropriate locations to the “block” of designs. Here’s some math to give an idea of how much voltage and how many batteries I need, respectively:
One battery is ~ 3.6 V and 110 mA
One 3mm LED ~ 2.4 V and 20 mA
then a battery can last ~ 4 LEDs an hour!
That also means I need equivalent number of resistors to the LED that should be 60 ohms. (e.g. (3.6-2.5) / 0.02 = 60).
Please note that I have looked into lilypad washable electronics but it has two disadvantages that made me not go for it. It is more expensive and it already looks nice which I felt that takes away from my design process.
Additionally, my e-textile is not washable, but I have decided to accept that given the massive number of LEDs I want to use; no one would want to put and remove these over time. Unless, if I find a way to enhance the design to maybe having a removable “blocks”, it is something I would consider.
Finally, I am working on those issues. Changing my scope at this time gives less time overall, yet I am very excited about this project!