Illuminated Clothing

J Hudock's Individual Project Page-Illuminated Clothing

Week 0 Activities edit

Give instructor top project choice list edit

My top project choices were Rube Goldberg and Illuminated Clothing.

Problem Statement edit

To create an Illuminated Clothing outfit implementing the use of El-wire and creating sound reactive LED lights to create a garment that lights up, is safe, mobile, and versatile.

Assign Task One edit

First I must gather all the materials, do research on how to create sound reactive LED lighting, find a useable garment and design concept.

Week 1 Activities edit

Compare Actual Work to Task One edit

The work completed this week was doing research on how to build the garment and coming up with a realistic design concept.

Week 1 Narrative edit

Three Major Contributions that I made to the project were:

1. Coming up with different design concepts.
2. Researching the possibilities on sound reactive LED
3. Gathering information on batteries and materials needed, including cost.

First, collectively the idea of creating a sound reactive hooded sweatshirt was considered the best concept for this project. It was decided that it would be best to focus on one item and if there was extra time in completing the project, the group would consider building more of a full ensemble/outfit. The hooded sweatshirt was the best idea for this project because of the fact that the project must implement the use of battery packs. Due to the sweatshirt having multiple layers and pockets, it was determined that this would be the best garment to illuminate.

The next task was gathering the El-wire and figuring out what other materials were needed to produce the illuminated jacket. Since there was only one battery pack with double A batteries, it was determined that more battery packs specific for the El-wire would need to be purchased. A materials list was put on the group page. It was also determined that we would need different color LEDs, a bread board, audio jacks and batteries for the sound reactive LEDs to be built. The option of purchasing the sound reactive LEDs was considered, but it was found that it would be much more cost efficient to build our own after doing research on the matter and finding out that is was indeed possible to do.

The last task was coming up with a valid and current design concept for the sweatshirt. Since it would obviously be more visually appealing to not have batteries and plain wires hanging out of the sweatshirt, it was determined that the battery packs for the EL-wire would need to go in the pockets. I came up with the design using the EL-wire around the hood so that the battery packs for the EL-wire would end up in a pocket, as well as the other ending of the EL-wire. Also, having the EL-wire and sound reactive LEDs in separate locations ensures that the safety of the garment is more effective because the different types of wires will be in completely separate locations.

Youtube Page Tutorial on Sound Reactive LEDs
Another Tutorial on building Sound Reactive LEDs

Assign Task Week 2 edit

This week a sweatshirt for the garment must be found, battery packs and other materials must be obtained and more research and testing needs to be implemented before building the sweatshirt.

Week 2 Activities edit

Compare Actual Work done to Tasks for Week 2 edit

This week the material list was updated, I donated a hooded sweatshirt of mine to the project, more research was completed on building the sound reactive LED lights and the design was updated.

Week 2 Narrative edit

Three major contributions that I made to the project were:

1. Donating the sweatshirt for the project and updating materials list.
2. Starting the Group Wikiversity page and putting updated information on it. Group Wikiversity Page
3. Updating design on garment and beginning to work on the El-wire portion.

First, I brought in the perfect sweatshirt to use for the project. It is thick, layered, and has pockets which is perfect for distributing the lighting throughout the garment. The sweatshirt is white with purple, green, and blue designs in which will juxtapose the lights throughout the garment well. The layers of the garment allow it to be cut into an the wiring to be hidden. It also allows a good surface area in which to sew the LEDs and the EL-wire to the sweatshirt. I decided that it would be best using a thicker thread to attach the El wire to allow for movement and considered the idea of using dental floss because it is very durable. Bringing in the sweatshirt allowed the design to be visualized more effectively and to figure out better what needed to be done to complete the project/build the sweatshirt.

Next, I started the Group Wikiversity page and found a good poster to use for the project. I made sure that the group was on task with what they needed to do and that everything was distributed most effectively between team members. The problem statement was updated, our "story", materials list and decision list were all put on the page. It was discussed that further research would be needed to figure out the safety implications of the garment in order for the sweatshirt to be able to implement batteries and not run a risk of combusting due to overheating. Because the garment requires putting wires directly on fabric, this was a valid concern that needed to be explored further and looked into.

Last, the design was updated on the sweatshirt. The sweatshirt will still use LEDs on the sleeves and the EL-wire on the hood, but through playing round with the design I figured out a way to better centralize the battery packs so that the garment would have the battery packs ending in one location. Due to the hope of making the garment visually presentable, I wanted to make sure that there wasn't lumps throughout the sweatshirt where the battery packs for each EL-wire were ending up, if they were to be randomly placed around the sweatshirt. I decided to braid the long EL-wire so that all the battery packs could end up in one pocket and not bulk up the sweatshirt. This would also make it easier then cutting into the sweatshirt to hide the battery packs as well as easier to remove the El-wire or the battery packs to either change the batteries or wash the garment. I braided the El-wire carefully which seemed to work well except it was discovered later after braiding the El-wire that the connector to the blue El-wire was completely broken and would not emit light when connected to the battery.

Group Poster:

Assign Task Week 3 edit

I need to find a way to repair the broken El-wire, research the possible safety hazards of using batteries in a sweatshirt, potentially change the design and begin building the garment (sewing).

Week 3 Activities edit

Compare Actual Work done to Tasks for Week 3 edit

I did end up figuring out through trial and error that the blue El-wire was beyond restoration. I ended up replacing it with an extra wire that we had obtained in the color red. The sound reactive LEDs are working both with a power supply and not. Assigned group member to research possible safety hazards of garment and found that it is safe.

Week 3 Narrative edit

Major contributions to the project that I made this week were:

1. Trying to repair broken El-wire
2. Changing design of El-wire
3. Figuring out further construction of garment

First, I spent time figuring out if the blue El-wire in the braided strands of different El-wire could be repaired. I tried reconnecting the wire and covering it with electric tape with no success. Then I stripped both endings of the wire, cut them and soldered two ends together. Then, I repeated the process of covering the wires with electrical tape and testing the battery pack. The result was unsuccessful. I then determined that it was the fact the the male connectors plastic incasing of the blue El-wire had been partially shattered. This meant that the connection between the female and male connectors would not be tight enough for proper connection. I made the decision that this wire was now unusable and needed to be replaced.

Next, due to having to replace the blue El-wire, I had to completely disassemble the El-wire braided portion and start all over. I unbraided all the El-wire, removed the broken blue colored El-wire and started redesigning the braid using the red El-wire that we had not previously used. This was a long and hard process, but I was able to fix the design with the red El-wire replacement without tampering with the connectors. When I tried to test if the El-wire would illuminate, I found that we also needed new double A batteries due to the fact that none of the El-wire would light up. This is now something that needs to be purchased or obtained.

Lastly, after further research was done on the safety implications of using batteries in the sweatshirt, it was found that because of the low voltage (under 9 Volts) was being used in our design, the probability of the garment combusting was slim to none due to the fact that the low volt batteries would not be able to conduct enough heat to overheat the garment. I found that the way that the sound reactive LED lights were built, they would be able to lay flat in squares along the arms of the sweatshirt. This will be easy enough to sew on to the garment and because the braided El-wire is now repaired, the sweatshirt should be able to maintain its design. The sewing of the garment was figured out and will be a long process, but not a very difficult one since the design was perfected and I have serious sewing skills.

Assign Task Week 4 edit

This week I need to sew the garment, both the El-wire and the sound reactive LEDs. I will begin with the El-wire since it is already completed and ready for construction. The group must get battery packs and batteries to complete the sweatshirt and have all the El-wire "illuminate". The group Wikiversity page must also be updated.

==Note==: After speaking with the instructor, the group has the possibility of continuing the project or beginning an entirely new project. This will be discussed this week as well.