Often times heated jackets utilize thin wire which when a high enough current in forced thru will produce heat. This process is widely used and produces good results. The issue being it can be uncomfortable and because of its thinness is prone to break from repeated flexing or burn out from to much voltage. When I first learned about carbon tape it sounded like the perfect material for a heated jacket. For this Instructables I am going to combine 3d Printing with carbon tape to create what I believe to be the first modular heating unit.
http://carbonheater.us/ offers super flexible tape at a great price.
Step 1: The Goal
Rather than sewing the carbon tape directly to a jacket I decided I wanted to create a modular system which would allow me to quickly swap the heating modular between a vest, a jacket, a peacoat, a riding jacket, a blanket, a hat, and more! With this goal in mind I fired up 123D and got to modeling.
Step 2: 3d Print a Clip
While I was in school I had access to AutoDesk Inventor and learned the basics of 3D design. Thanks to this it was a simple task to whip up a small clip in the free software 123D Design which is surprisingly good for the price (FREE!).
I began by making a simple clip which could be easily 3d printed. I then added a small slot where I would run the carbon fiber tape and a hole to run any wires I would be using to generate the heat.
Now its a simple as printing as many clips as you need depending on the length of tape you will be using.
Step 3: Battery Box
In order to keep with the spirit of the project, I will also be using these 3d printed battery boxes. The beauty of this design is they can be customized to hold as few as 1 battery to as many as you can fit on your prints print bed.
For my design, I will be printing off a two AA battery box and utilizing rechargeable batteries in order to be as green and cost effective as possible.
It should be noted that this is not my own design and if you want to print your own please go to this link:
Step 4: Wiring
Wiring will depend on the length of your design. For my design I will be using a 2m length or about 2 yards which will need to be wired with two 2m(2yd) sections. This is the reason for the hole in the clip to allow one 2m piece to be wired in parallel with only three wires.
Step 5: Done
Now that the parts have been designed all that is left is to test the system out! Sadly at this point my carbon fiber tape as not yet arrived so for now this is a proof of concept design to help others have a starting point. Once I am able to get some tape I will be beefing up this guide with even more pictures and a video.
If you are interested in making your own please go to http://www.carbonheater.us/ to buy your carbon fiber tape.