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Abstract of MIT Open Course Ware New TextilesThis abstract intends to summarize the contents of the MIT Open Course WareNew Textiles. The target of this abstract is to decide which materials areimportant and which not according to prepare some assignments related withe-textiles, also known as smart textiles. This course is focused to textilestudents with no knowledge in the electronics area.
In the main part of the course (Readings, lectures and tutorials) we have been selected themost important contents and developed them with the course information, but we have hadtroubles in major amount of the points due to the lake of information, despite it’s supposedto be a self-taught course with its part of theory and part of practice.In the first lessons of the OCW course there is some general information about the courseincluding an introduction about the smart textiles. There are two different set of slides butthere is no important information inside. However in the 3 rd lesson there is a very importantset of slides that explains the different type of materials (there is a larger list of materials butthey are not mentioned because there is no information about them) as well as anintroduction to many sensors fabricated with textiles. Here is a summary about the slides ofthe 3rd lesson.The first thing important to make smart textiles is to know the properties in the differenttextile materials… Conductive Materials (low resistance)Conductive fabricsStretch conductive fabric - Silver plated NylonSoft and Safe shielding fabric – cotton, bamboo, silverNickel and copper plated ripstop fabricsConductive threads117/17 2ply silver plated Nylon234/34 4ply silver plated NylonMetal accessoriesBeadsSnapsFasteners
Once we know these three different types of materials we are ready to use our knowledgefor make sensors. First it’s important to define what a sensor is and which techniques andtools do we have to make sensors based on textiles. Conductive thread or yarnMetal wrapped• Fabric core wrapped with metal• Highly conductive• Beautiful• Fragile• Sewability: not machine sewableMetal plated• Fabric core plated with metal (usually silver)• Reasonably conductive• Plating tarnishes and cracks with washing and wear• Can be polished• Sewability: some varieties machine sewableSpun stainless steel• 100% stainless steel• Highly conductive• Corrosion resistant• Difficult to work with• Sewability: Some varieties machines sewable as bobbin thread
Sensor (from the free Merriam-Webster dictionary)Sensor is a device that responds to a physical stimulus as heat, light, sound, pressure,magnetism, or a particular motion and transmits a resulting impulse as for measurement oroperating a control. DefinitionThe Tools and Techniques for making sensors based on textiles are the following• Sewing• Knitting• Crochet• Felting• Circular knitting machine• Spool knitter• Needle felting tools• Hole maker• Iron• Multimeter• LilyPad Arduino• Battery and holder, LEDs
The next step in the New-Textiles course is to show various sensors made with textile, as wewill see these sensors are easy to make and are able to join DIY (do it yourself) devices.Diy from Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaDo it yourself (or DIY) is a term used to describe building, modifying, or repairing ofsomething without the aid of experts or professionals. Fabric Sensors•Fabric Button• Conductive Thread Pressure Sensor• Neoprene Bend Sensor• Pressure Sensor Matrix• Fabric Tilt Sensor• Fabric Potentiometer• Crochet Potentiometer• Stroke Sensor• Knit Stretch Sensors• Knit TouchpadAs this document is just an abstract of the OCW course, we will look the most importantsensors, leaving the reader to fill in much of the details entering into the 3rd lesson slidesfrom the original course.
We have chosen as the most significant sensors, the fabric button, the pressure sensormatrix, the fabric potentiometer the stroke sensor and the knit stretch sensor. Fabric ButtonMATERIALS• Neoprene • Fusible interfacing• Stretch conductive fabric • Foam
Showed sensors are the most significant sensors of the slides, but in the course they alsorecommend to visit some web pages with many more sensors. One of the best websites isHow to get what you want (http://www.kobakant.at/DIY) where you can find different typeof sensors but also actuators, connectors and much more devices that are required in anelectronic circuit. It has also information about conductive and non-conductive materialsspecifying prices, the minimum order and much more.
Finally we present the Syllabus of the course just to note which topics were treated. Most ofthem are guest lectures and there are also some tutorials and YouTube videos, but no one ofthem are interesting for our purpose, that is why we only list them instead of develop itscontent.Lectures and readings syllabus 1. Introduction - Materials: conductive fabrics, conductive threads and yarns - Techniques: hand sewing, switch design 2. Conductive textiles - Materials: conductive fabrics, conductive threads and yarns, LEDs - Techniques: simple circuit design 3. Textile sensors - Materials: resistive yarns, piezo resistive (pressure sensitive) materials -Techniques: sensor design 4. Fabric PCBs, part 1 - Materials: conductive fabrics, fabric adhesives - Techniques: soldering, circuit design 5. Guest lecture by Marcelo Coelho, MIT Media Lab
6. Fabric PCBs, part 2 - Materials: microcontrollers - Techniques: laser cutting, microcontroller programming - Machines: laser cutter7. Guest lecture by Prof. Yoel Fink, MIT Materials Science and Engineering8. Fibers and yarns - Materials: fibers and yarns - Techniques: spinning, metal wrapping, wire extrusion, etc. - Fiber & yarn terminology, measurement units and methods9. Guest lecture by Greg Rutledge, MIT Chemical Engineering10. Spinning workshop11. Nonwovens - Materials: fibers (including natural, metal, fusible plastics, paper, etc.) - Techniques: felting, fusing, sewing12. Wearable computing, part 1 (joint class with 21W.789 Communicating with Mobile Technology) - Materials: Arduino, AndroidTM - Techniques: networking
13. Guest lecture by Tricia Wilson Nguyen, Thistle Threads14. Wearable computing, part 2 (joint class with 21W.789 Communicating with Mobile Technology) - Materials: Arduino, Android - Techniques: networking15. Guest lecture by Despina Papadopoulos, Studio 5050, NYU16. Wearable computing assignment presentations, with 21W.789 Communicating with Mobile Technology17. Embroidery and printing - Materials: threads, stabilizers, inks and paints - Techniques: embroidery design, embroidering circuitry, algorithmic design, digital printing - Machines: embroidery machine, printers18. Guest lecture by Rehmi Post and Kit Waal, MIT19. Final project proposal presentations20. Guest lecture by Becky Stern, MAKE and CRAFT
21. Knitting and weaving - Materials: yarns (cotton, wool, etc., conductive, resistive), knitting software - Techniques: algorithmic knit and weave design, knitting and weaving software, knitting sensors - Machines: knitting machines (circular and flat), jacquard looms, hand looms22. Guest lecture by Anne Whiston Spirn, MIT23. Field trip to the RISD Textile department24. Knit, woven, embroidery presentations25. Pattern design - Techniques: pattern design, sewing -Guest lecture by Sheila Kennedy, MIT Architecture and KVA26. Visit from Kelly Dobsons "Textile Futures" class @ RISD27. Final project presentations