3D Printing–November 13, 2014

We had a great turnout at the monthly meeting with some exciting show and tell. We also have some fun items on tap for the rest of November. All events are suitable for Family and free to paying members ($10 for nonmembers, make out checks to St Anthony Jr-Sr High School):

November 13, 2014 will be 3D Printing Night.
6 PM–set up the 3D printers
7 PM–Steve Griffin, a mechanical engineer from Boeing will be on hand to discuss how to get the best build quality

November 20, 2014 will be a return to the Art of Tinkering
We’ll build Paper Circuits.
Bring
–Coin Cell Batteries CR-1220
–Cardstock
–Scissors/exacto knife (age appropriate please)
–Scotch tape

Both meetings are 6-9 PM at St Anthony Jr-Sr High School, Maryknoll Building, Rm 21.

What Happened at the November Public Meeting
Membership and a Permanent Home
Maui Makers discussed plans for leasing our own space. We have a strong contender in Wailuku, but are exploring alternatives, in case that falls through. With the space comes extra bills, so we are rolling out a paid membership structure. Once the bank account gets linked to Paypal, you can pay by credit card on the website. You can also pay by check at a meeting, or contact info@mauimakers.com. For a limited time, memberships will be discounted. Lorayne Lipps had the honor of being our first paying member. We anticipate being in St Anthony Thursday evenings through December.

Show and Tell
Sevan brought the 3D Printed Air Brush Nozzle he’s been working on:

3D printed airbrush nozzle

Shannon Williams has built a an “oxyhydrogen generator”. It uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. This converts electricity into a clean burning fuel, and unlike gasoline the only emission released is—water!

Oxyhydrogen generator

magnetic paper

Steve Jenness brought his tricked out motorcycle light:
skull headlight

Art=Mixx Maui Flyer

LED Making Partay! Making LED Stuff In Support Of Art=Mixx Maui

Wednesday March 27th  11a-2p and Thursday 5:30p-til we’r done! (during the weekly meeting and open to the public) March 28th at our Maker Space in Puʻunene.

The Maui Makers have been invited to participate in the Art=Mixx Maui by creating LED stuff to wear or hold.  Art=Mixx organizer Gabe Mott (Colorbox) says, “Art=MiXX The Forest is going to go over the top. Please come dressed as a forest creature… that includes insects… in fact being as creative as you are in includes… well?”

At past LED making occasions makers have create such things as LED clothing, LED headbands, LED bracelets, LED toys, etc.  We will find ourselves sewing and soldering with some light programming.  If you need help with one ov these aspects, I’m sure someone can teach you and vice versa be ready to receive your help and input.  Most materials can be found locally with a couple exceptions like LEDs, battery holders and Adafruit Strips which may be found in the space and available for purchase.

After these two maker space days please attend Art=Mixx Maui this Saturday March 30th at the MACC while sporting your new creations…but it’s a secret…shhh!!!! That secret will be disclosed at these LED events.  If you are interested in participating at the Art=Mixx with your LED creation, please contact Cadence Feeley via Facebook.  She will also be at these meetings with music to give you the jungle vibe for the show.  

If you can not make either of the maker activity times, come to Art=Mixx Maui anyway! It is a FREE EVENT (21+yo only) and the last few have been raved about.

E-Textiles – Sewing with Electronics Jan 3rd, and 4th AfterAction

Event was Jan3-4th 2013 and was AWESOME!!

After Action Review: Theo arrived about 430pm at airport.  We grabbed some food and got to the space about 545.  We had a whole lotta new folks and several we had not seen in awhile, as well as regulars.  Thurs night turned into a lot of overview of e-textiles and talk – along with a 1/2 doz other things happening around the space.  Theo couch surf’d at Makers East (my home in Haiku) and after breakfast at Market Fresh Bistro (my fav food) we were back at makerspace by 1130am (yeah a bit late but we’re on maui time.).  There were 3-5 people who returned to learn programming and more details of the Lilypad/Arduino.  Lots of inspiration and sharing. (class material and more on Lilypad is at the Learn.Sparkfun.com site)  We have decided to have an Arduino Corner at our Thursday Meetings for people to share experiences and learn more.  This may evolve into its own night and/or weekend daytime meetup.  We shall see.  Here are some pics of the event…

Original Post…

Sewing Microcontrollers and Electronics? Yes!!!
Maui Makers is pleased to host a vacationing elf from Sparkfun Electronics who is bringing several ProtoSnap LilyPad Developer Kits to give away at our Thursday Jan 3rd public night 6-9pm in Pu’unene. (The Elf is available Friday Jan 4th daytime to continue if people want to do so)

Sparkfun’s ProtoSnap LilyPad DevKit

Come down and learn how to program a microcontroller, make LEDs blink, motors vibrate, sense light/temperature… and then sew it into your clothing! Event and kits are free. Limited number of LilyPad Dev Kits are available on first come-first receive basis.

For directions, etc. see map etc in right column or the info page on Thursday Night Meetings

About the LilyPad Dev Board…

“The ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Board is designed to get you started in the world of e-textiles. Combining a LilyPad Simple Board with other LilyPad components like a buzzer, a vibration motor, an RGB LED, a button, a switch, five LEDs, a light sensor, and a temperature sensor, the ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Board lets you dive right into wearable electronics. When you’ve learned how to program the LilyPad Arduino Simple Board, break apart the components and explore the power of the LilyPad platform.”

Basically an Arduino board with sensors/effectors built into board, that you can later snap apart and sew back together on clothing… conductive thread included!!!

What can you do with e-textiles?   Well check out the examples this new article just posted by MAKE magazine

Many more examples abound on the web..  start here (http://www.lbruning.com/etextiles) or here  (http://www.adafruit.com/blog/category/wearables)

How do you sew electronics with conductive thread? Check out the post I did earlier this year on our class at the Hawaii Stem Conference.

Check the Soft Circuits category over on the right column for other related posts here.

Sewing Electronics at Hawaii STEM Conference

The Hawaii STEM Conference was held March 30/31st at the Marriott Hotel in Wailea, Maui HI. This is an annual gathering hosted by MEDB’s Women in Technology (link) to bring together students and teachers from Hawaii middle and high schools for classes and sharing various STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) topics.

This year Maui Makers was invited to repeat the Sewing Electronics class taught at the February “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” event also sponsored by MEDB’s WIT. The 2 hour class was listed as “Creative Innovation”, promising:

The way things are invented is changing rapidly. Technology is now available to create innovative products on deemed, locally at low cost. Shared equipment workshops known as Makerspaces and FabLabs are popping up around the world, giving people access tanned training in this technology. Join the Maui Makers group as they help you explore various technologies from laser cutting and 3D Printing to sewing electronics into clothing.

That translated into a short (~15 minute) presentation and ~45 min of sewing color cycling RGB LEDs onto a felt bracelet, with a Makerbot Thing-0-matic running on a side table. I was assisted in this class by Makers Evelyn Z (also a teacher at Kihei Charter School), Dina M., Lynn F., Kimberly D. and my son Brian. There were about 25 kids in the class, with a couple friends of mine (Lotus and Josh) from King Kekaulike High School Robotics Club coming in later after they finished presenting their school’s STEMWorks projects.

LED Bracelet by Dina M.

Presentation Overview
The presentation itself was pretty simple. I called it “21st Century Innovation and Hands-on Sewing Electronics”. I have split it into two parts for PDF uploads. The first half is on 21st Century Innovation Spaces and the 2nd half is the Hands-on Sewing Electronics portion.

First I talked about the history of making (hand crafting -> industrial manufacturing -> 21st century print-on-demand). Then on into ’21st Century Innovation Spaces” – namely FabLabs, TechShop and Makerspaces. I talked about CNC and Desktop Fabrication (additive and subtractive) with example pictures. I touched on Electronics and Physical Computing then moved on to Soft Circuits (aka e-Textiles). I finished up with a quick review of how to do 3d printing on a Makerbot – as Evelyn Z fired up the Thing-o-matic.

Teaching a room of middle/high school kids is fairly new to me. There were a few points were I tossed out some terms (eg. Fabrication) that probably were new to many of the kids. Fortunately, Evelyn was there to help me – interjecting questions to the students for these teaching moments.

I had a surprise for the kids when I got to the e-Textile slide. Under my shirt, I was wearing my LED T-Shirt. This is a plain white T with an 8×10 array of individually addressable RGB LEDs sewn in. I fired it up mid-slide and WOW! kids lit up brighter than the shirt. More on this shirt further down this post.

LED T-Shirt

LED Bracelet

The later half of the presentation was instructions on sewing the LED bracelet. I gave a quick overview of the project and then started the kids working on the steps. As we worked through the steps, I advanced the slides. Printouts of the main steps had been distributed to the tables, along with components before the class started.

Presentation overview slide for hands on portion

The bracelet was pretty straight forward – black felt, conductive thread, battery holder & battery, two LEDs on LilyPad PC boards, and metal snaps. The basic idea was to sew from one snap to – side of battery holder; from + side of battery to + sides of both LEDs; from – sides of both LEDs to the other snap. Closing the snaps around the wrist would complete the circuit and light the LEDS.

This was a step up from the “Intro a Girl to Engr.” class, that lacked the battery holder and snaps. I figured with 2 hours (vs 1) we would have time for other components. Another big change from the last class was better visual aids. The presentation/handouts had pictures of what was expected, and Kimberly brought in a terrific multi-color blackboard/chalk drawing. Dina and Evelyn made a few quick additions before class started. It was a big help to some of the kids. Having the assistants was absolutely essential. Kimberly and Dina had been over to the makerspace on Tuesday for a trial run, which was big help. Evelyn and Lynn had helped me at the Intro A Girl class. Brian, well, he was friends with many of the kids.

One big area that helped was having LOTS of the needle threaders. Conductive thread is rather large and very difficult to fit through eye of needles – especially when needles need to be small enough to fit through holes in battery holders, etc. Last class we ran out as they broke, etc. This time I had 250 on hand.

Using a needle threader

The best laid plans of mice and teachers … it was amazing how many creative ways simple instructions can go wrong. The assistants were quite busy helping kids out – and kids were helping each other too. Several kids ran out of thread and needed more – generally due to some sewing mistake that needed to be backed out. We had some super perfectionists who took a lot longer than others. Their work was great, it just took longer. Overall the kids were successful. I think all the bracelets worked. I saw several of the kids wearing theirs later in the day. Then again there were some who gave me back their finished projects, not really wanting to take it home.

Classic mistakes were:

  • sewing wrong polarity of battery/LEDs (quite easy to do)
  • crossed stitching or loose ends shorting out
  • thread looping around sides rather than thru material
  • loosely attached parts – threads not pulled tight

The LillyPad PC boards come in two varieties – pre-populated with SMD LEDs, and bare boards with thru-hole plating. I used the later as they are much less expensive (including bay purchased leds), the holes are bigger and I can get ing 5mm LEDs while the SMD boards are single color. I soldered up about 30 of each type a day or three before the class. These are fairly easy to do, although a bit of a pain as they don’t lie down well for sewing. If I do this class again, I might consider making a jig to hold a bunch of them in position for soldering.  An alternative to using the PC boards is to roll the LED legs and sew through the loops.

Color Changing LED soldered to LilyPad PC board.

LED mounted by sewing thru rolled leads

Sources of materials
You could buy most of the materials at local stores, except maybe the LEDs and battery holders. However small quantities can be very expensive. I was able to get significantly better prices buying from E-bay in quantity. Sparkfun.com was my source for the LilyPad PC boards, conductive thread, and battery holders.

SparkFun.com Products:

LEDs -E-bay vendor JeledHK  I bought both slow and fast change and gave kids one of each:

Batteries – CR 2032 (to match Battery Holder) look around carefully. You can buy singles and 3 packs from lots of sources. I found a vendor that sold 100 for less than the price of buying a few retail single packs.

Needle Threaders – buy lots of these. The ones I got are pretty cheap – in both senses of the word. Having lots of them meant it was no big deal if they break…. and they will break. I’m not sure the higher quality ones are worth the premium price – but I haven’t tried many.

Snaps and Felt: Local Fabric Store. I was able to find quite decent 12 packs of metal snaps for a decent price. Felt may or may not be best choice for bracelets. It worked for me as a strong, simple material. Some instructables (LINK) and advice from friends suggested using the material with cover/backing material. This would add extra sewing which would be fine for personal or semi-commercial projects, but part of my consideration for the class was keeping it simple and fast.

Beads – Dina M. added some small metal beads to her example bracelet, along with doing some artistic patterns with the thread. These made the finished project look MUCH better (her professional level sewing skills helped too.). We made beads available to kids as an option.

LED T-Shirt

The LED T-Shirt was something that I threw together in the week before the class. Syuzi P posted about a CuteCircuit’s really amazing Aurora Dress  with hundreds of LEDS created for an opera. When I commented on wanting that on a shirt on Facebook, Suyzi challenged me by saying ‘you could make one’. I had a bunch of LED Strip lying around, and Adafruit had published some interesting tutorials/forum posts about creating arrays, so I took up the challenge.

The result is a fairly simple array using 8 strips of 10 LEDs, using the older HL1606 controller based strips that Adafruit sold in 2010. They upgraded the RGB strips in 2011 (?) to use LDP8806 controllers, so if you buy now you will get the new (better) ones. I had about 10meters of the tape lying around gathering dust. I used 3 of it for Logo Glowego (LINK) but still had lots left over. The 80 LEDs works out to just under 3 meters (32 lights/meter), which at $30+/meter is still pretty expensive. I could probably have used discrete LEDs and saved a lot of money, at the trade off of a LOT of sewing and programming. Having the strips on hand made this a no-brainer. I also had an extra PJRC Teensy 2.0 which is a great form factor for small projects.  A LilyPad or AdaFruit’s new Flora platform would be better alternative, but I had Teensy on hand.

First step, after ascertaining there was existing code to help me complete the project quickly, was to cut up the strips and wire them up as an array. Since the strip is linearly addressed, you have to connect them in a ZigZag pattern. The Adavision code from Adafruit provides a function to remap an array to linear LED id. The code was for Processing  (eg java code) but it is still basically C, so moving it to Arduino was trivial.

The tricky part of the code was that the Processing code converts the LED id to a pixel array index – which is also a linear vector index. The Processing code effectively has 3 values for each LED – the original pixel image, the mapping value, and the value sent out. This is too much data for a small machine. I wanted a function that would take a pixel index and convert it to an LED index, so applications could set led values directly using this mapping function. Rather than derive a new function that could provide the options of the Processing one, I chose to use its mapping calculations. I wrote these into the mapping vector, then stepped through this array setting corresponding values of the library’s led array with index, then copied the values back to the mapping.. effectively using the leds array as a temporary. I then cleared the led array…


// invert the mapping matrix into leds array
for (i = 0; i < _numLEDs; i++)
{
_leds[_remapMatrix[i]] = i;
}
// copy back to mapping matrix
for (i = 0; i < _numLEDs; i++)
{
_remapMatrix[i] = _leds[i];
}
// clear led array
for (i = 0; i < _numLEDs; i++)
{
_leds[i] = 0;
}

I have not uploaded the code changes for this, as it combines the Java Code (one license) into the HL1606 Adafruit library (different license). Perhaps I can get this straightened out and shared soon.

I chose to make my strips vertical with the power/control coming in at the lower left corner (when viewed from the front.) This allowed me to attach the array only at the top of each column and letting them hang naturally. There was some movement of the strips, but this was a trade of between time and effort. I chose the quick and simple method. It also lets me quickly detach the array to wash the shirt, as the strips are NOT fully water tight sealed.

The wiring required jumping the 3 control lines at alternate ends of columns to create the proper zig-zag, remembering that the left/right pads of each column were reversed (eg column 1 wend gnd A B C NC vcc, while col 2 goes vcc NC C B A gnu) — check this, use real names

Power and ground were connected along the bottom of columns in a daisy chain fashion. Extra care was taken to insure proper connection, remembering the pad reversal each column. Initially I used cables with male/female connectors in the power segment. this left long cumbersome wires, so I replaced them with simple no-connector wiring.

The resulting mesh hangs together pretty well. I used ElementalLED’s silicon sealant to seal the ends of each column. It may be water tight but I have not tested it. I think it needs a second application of silicon before I’m willing to try. (NOTE: do NOT buy the sealant kit or end caps they sell. These are the wrong size. Adafruit has started selling some that are the right size)

The processor used was a PJRC Teensy 2.0. I gained significant comfort using these on the Logo Glowego project. They are a very nice arduino compatible board. I hounded the Teensy on an Adafruit breadboard with standoffs, and put the board inside a Sucrets box. The pins I used to create the socket for Teensy made it a bit too tall to fit into the classic Altoids tin. Fortunately, my parts collection yielded up an old Sucrets lozenge tin that fit quite well.

The LEDs strips draw significant power – about 1amp/meter, at 5vdc. While a LiPo battery would be nice and small, I only had 3.5v LiPos handy. So I opted to use a 4 D Cell battery pack that was in my parts collection. This is pretty hefty but worked well. I used a DC-DC step-down converter (Pololu) to insure the power 5vdc. I used connectors on both input and output ends of the converter making the output one with yellow electrical tape. The mounting screw holes in the dc-dc board were too small fo the scres I had (Spartkfun part link) so I wrapped the entire converter with black tape.

Programming the Teensy beyond the library changes was pretty simple. I used the Basic Patterns example from the Adafruit library with small mods to call the mapping functions. I was going to try using the more advanced PWM version of the library but the examples for that are single effect. I wanted to show off a couple effects.

The setup is quite adaptable. There is expansion room with the Teensy to support sensors to control effects (buttons, body motion, etc.) Adding a blue tooth connection to a desktop or android device would provide more effects.

I posted a quick note on the shirt to the Adafruit forum and they posted a note on their blog

Inside LED Tshirt

Jerry wearing Shirt

Lasers and Bots : Thurs Nov 18 2010

I’m going to host a Maui Makers meeting at my home on Thursday November 18, 2010 from 5:30-11pm. I’ll show the Epilog Laser cutter, Makerbot 3d Printer, and some of the other tools and toys I have here. Festivities will start in late PM (5:30) and continue until everyone (but me) leaves. I’ve got a grill if you want to cook something, or bring something pre-cooked. BYO drinks, art, projects, questions, answers, friends, etc.
Email me for directions. Jerry Isdale

EL-wire Tron costume

Syuzi Pakhchyan showing off her awesome Quorra (from new Tron flick) costume using EL-wire

Thats Syuzi Pakhchyanh, showing off her awesome Tron (Quorra, new film character) costume.  Syuzi is one of the innovators and author in the area of Soft Circuits (aka Fashion Technology). She taught a class at CrashSpace in LA and helped out at the Siggraph tutorial I attended this past summer.  For this costume she used Electro Luminescent tape (EL) and faux-leather.  She is promising a tutorial on how to work with this material in the near future.

I have Syuzi’s book, the MakerShed Conductive Booster Pack Kit, a Lily Pad (arduino board for clothing), and various other soft circuit parts.  I’ve done a bit of sewing with conductive thread but I am not very adept at sewing. I’m looking forward to doing more with this tech, especially in collaborations with people who can sew!  Syuzi did say she would be very interested in teaching a workshop at our space.  Perhaps that will be one of our Make-cation events.

Lilypad successes, Makers and Education, DARPA Program

LIlypad Embroidery, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from bekathwia's photostream

This post is an amalgam of several news items I read recently.

First off an article on the LilyPad’s success in bringing women into electronics projects. From a post in BoingBoing:

“MIT’s Leah Buechley and Benjamin Mako Hill recently published a paper called LilyPad in the Wild: How Hardwareʼs Long Tail is Supporting New Engineering and Design Communities, about the success of the LilyPad microcontroller in attracting women to electronics projects. LilyPad is derived from the Arduino open processor, but was “specifically designed to be more useful than other microcontroller platforms (like normal Arduino) in the context of crafting practices like textiles or painting.” The Buechley/Hill paper shows that this was a successful strategy for engaging women makers and contemplates how to use the LilyPad approach to engage with women and girls in other science/technology/engingeering/math (STEM) domains”

Also read Mako Hill’s blog post “Feminism and Microcontrollers“.  Discussions around the net have ranged from positive, to some reactionary that this buys into the sterotypes and women should use electronics in their original form just like hard core hackers do.  Personally, I like the LilyPad and soft circuits. I think that Lilypad Embroidery by Becky Stern is awesome combination of arts. (Image: LIlypad Embroidery, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from bekathwia’s photostream).

Next up – Makers and Education

There was an NSF sponsored workshop on “Innovation, Education and the Maker Movement” on Monday following the NYC Maker Faire.  It was organized by Margaret Honey of the New York Hall of ScienceThomas Kalil of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Dale Dougherty.  Tom gave the opening speech, which Dale published in his blog.  It gives a good summary of how Makers are changing the economy and education.  I havent seen any other output from the workshop yet. After meeting kids and educators this weekend at the Maui County Fair VEX Robotics Tournament I am even more excited about bringing a makerspace to our island.

DARPA MENTOR bringing fab labs to 1000 high schools

DARPA has a Draft BAA out for a program called MENTOR (Manufacturing Experimentation and Outreach). This program “is part of the Adaptive Vehicle Make program portfolio and is aimed at engaging high school students in a series of collaborative distributed manufacturing and design experiments. The overarching objective of MENTOR is to develop and motivate a next generation cadre of system designers and manufacturing innovators, and to ensure that high school-age youths are exposed to the principles of modern prize-based design and foundry-style digital manufacturing.”  They are looking to deploy digital fabrication equipment (3d printers, cnc, etc) to 1000 high schools globally and encourage partnerships with small business, non-profits, etc.  It looks like they are going to be sponsoring various competitions “in the development of cyber-electro-mechanical systems of moderate complexity such as go carts, mobile robots, small unmanned aircraft, etc.”  I would LOVE to get Hawaii into this program!  Anyone interested in getting involved please contact me.


A Visit to NYC Resistor

A week ago I posted that I was going to visit NYCResistor and take a class on April 10 2010. Sorry it has taken a week to update but life intervened.

I took the subway out from midtown Manhattan where I was staying and arrived about a half hour early.  NYCResistor is located a short walk from the subway station in a non-descript brick building on a not too busy/not too quiet street. The doorway is barely marked and might be easily missed. Visitors may need to call to get the front door unlocked.  Once inside there is a cool LED light directing you up four flights of well worn wooden stairs to the space.  The space itself is has nice high ceilings and is HUGE.  I briefly visited their previous digs back in December and this new space is much bigger. They have a big open room up front for classes, a couple side offices (one is home to their Epilog laser cutter), and another even bigger room back through the arches that houses ongoing projects. There were a few folks working on projects in the back room when I arrived, and some others puttering about, doing improvements on the space, etc.  The coolest project in this back room at the time I visited was a pair of Makerbot Plastruder Mark 5 prototypes undergoing stress tests.  Zach et al had set up a pair of laser cut acrylic boxes into which the plastuders were oozing out a steady stream of black ABS plastic.  I got to meet Zach briefly – quite a pleasure for me, he (like the rest of the folks there) was friendly and fun to chat with.  He said the plastruders had been running continuously for 24-48+hours!  That beats the heck out of the 20 min or so I get out of the Mark 4 on Goldbot (my Makerbot Cupcake).  They still have some issues to work out but I am excited to see this development.

Front Room of NYCResistor

I was at NYCResistor to take Shelby Arnold’s class in Paper Engineering.  Basically this is paper folding to make popup cards and books.  Shelby passed around a nice tutorial book – Elements of Pop up: A Pop Up Book For Aspiring Paper Engineers. It is loaded with how-tos and examples. I ordered myself  a copy from amazon after the class. Shelby then showed us how to make a number of basic popups for simple cards. I made a half dozen or so in the hour+ of the class.  Mine were plain white with no decorations – simple engineering prototypes.  Others in the class (about 14 total) were much more artistic – tacking on decorative flourishes.  One person even made a pair of popup cards showing robots walking in a city – second card showed the flaming aftermath.  It was a fun introduction to the craft. I wish there was time to go deeper and try out their CraftRobo machine, but alas there wasnt time. (also the machine was not set up.)  I’ll just have to wait till I have some time to experiment on my own.

Simple popup card I made during class

After the Paper Engineering class, Raphael Abrams was teaching a Soft Circuit class.  It was listed as sold out so I had not pre-registered. It was also scheduled to end about 5:30 which I initially thought would be too late for me to make it back to Manhattan for the party my wife was expecting me to attend.  However, Raphael said he would gladly let me take the class for cash payment and since subway travel was quick, I dropped $30.  It was quite fun although it ran long and I had to bug out well before the end.  Raphael had us make a simple LED circuit with a battery pouch.  The conductive thread is really hard to work with. You need to cut it with a sharp knife to avoid any dangling bits that could cause shorts, etc. It is fat and not easy to thread into a needle (dang these aging eyes!), and then easily slips out.  It also tangles and knots itself quite easily so hand sewing is tricky.  I did manage to get a pair of white LEDs wired up properly (in parallel).  Raphael had some conductive tape which I put down over a coil of thread on one end of the circuit. The other end was attached to half of a metal snap that I sewed onto a small piece of felt that was then attached over the tape creating a pocket. Inserting the battery into the pocket in the correct orientation closed the circuit and lights up the LEDs.  Raphael had some more advanced projects planned, but by the time I got mine working, it was 5:45 and I had to bug out for the train. I wish I had stayed longer – the party was delayed an hour!  I am looking forward to working with more soft circuits in the future.  There is talk CrashSpace might host a class, which would be great… if I’m still here on mainland.  Otherwise, we will have to do ourselves in Maui!

Soft Circuit class at NYCResistor

My simple LED soft circuit works! Next step is to add the battery pocket.

My simple LED soft circuit - before battery pocket.