The materials used for the sensor are basically cheap and off-the-shelf. There are other places that sell conductive fabrics and Velostat, but LessEMF is a convenient option for both, especially for shipping within North America.
Velostat is the brand name for the plastic bags in which sensitive electronic components are packaged in. Also called anti-static, ex-static, carbon based plastic. (So you can also cut up one of these black plastic bags if you have one at hand. But caution! Not all of them work!)
To make the sensor fully fabric one can use EeonTex conductive textile (www.eeonyx.com) instead of the plastic Velostat. Eeonyx normally only manufacture and sells its coated fabrics in minimum amounts of 100yds, but 7x10 inch (17.8x25.4 cm) samples are available free of charge and larger samples of 1 to 5 yards for a minimum fee per yard.
The exact neoprene i used for the bend sensor is:
thickness: 1,5 mm
both sides: nylon- / polyesterjersey (standard)
one side: grey, other side: neon green
but you can defiantly try and experiment with different qualities and thicknesses!
also with different materials. i can imagine that foam rubber and similar will work.
one good thing about the neoprene is that it has jersey fused to either side which gives it a nice feel against the skin but also makes sewing easier, as stitches otherwise rip through the plain neoprene.
- Conductive thread from www.sparkfun.com
also see http://cnmat.berkeley.edu/resource/conductive_thread
- Neoprene from www.sedochemicals.com
- Stretch conductive fabric from www.lessemf.com
also see http://cnmat.berkeley.edu/resource/stretch_conductive_fabric
- Fusible interfacing from local fabric store
- Regular sewing thread from local fabric store
- Velostat by 3M from www.lessemf.com
also see http://cnmat.berkeley.edu/resource/velostat_resistive_plastic
- Machine poppers/snaps from local fabric store
- Pen and paper
- Fabric and paper scissors
- Sewing needle
- Popper/snap machine (handheld or hammer and simple version)
- Possibly pliers for undoing poppers
For connecting to your computer:
I'm not going to go into detail here, because this Instructable is really more about the sensor itself and less about this connection. But if you have question just send me message.
- Arduino physical computing platform from www.sparkfun.com
- Arduino software free from www.arduino.cc
- Processing programming environment free from www.processing.org
- Crocodile clips from www.radioshack.com
- A pullup or pulldown to the ground of your Arduino, with a 10-20 K Ohm resistor
- Some wire and solder and stuff