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Engineering Materials

Fast, Cheap, Stretchable Electronics Made With Sewing Machine

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Stupefyingly Obvious
Ann R. Thryft   7/28/2014 2:30:59 PM
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AnandY this seems totally obvious in hindsight, doesn't it? I'm sure most of us are wondering why we didn't think of it. But to implement it correctly, you need the two kinds of thread, the Ecoflex elastomer, and a correct understanding of the process, which clearly took some experimentation time and dollars. The National Science Foundation funding makes me think this is a) not easy to achieve and b) probably not intended to be commercialized.
Let us know if you succeed!



AnandY
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Re: Stupefyingly Obvious
AnandY   7/28/2014 8:37:34 AM
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Looking at all the solutions that have been presented in the past in an attempt to attain streachable technology, I cant help but wonder why nobody thought of this before. Hell, why didn't I think of this before! Am sure this is really going to make an impact though the developers of the technology probably wont see much profit from external users. The idea is so simple that I can start implementing it right now so they should not have hopes of high revenue from this.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Miniatiurization
Ann R. Thryft   7/15/2014 11:45:17 AM
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Thanks, Clinton, glad you liked it. It still boggles my mind how simple & efficient, thus elegant, this solution is.
I suspect the mention of more exotic sounding apps are for the purpose of getting media attention. but what initially got my attention wasn't robot skin--it was the use of a sewing machine.

CLMcDade
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Re: Miniatiurization
CLMcDade   7/15/2014 10:04:21 AM
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Ann,  

Great article on a very elegant solution to a challenge that has been explored with a lot of high-tech and complicated approaches.

Erik, you and I were thinking of down-to-Earth, DIY uses for the tech, while the creators of it are considering more exotic applications.  Ironically, on the surface, it seems that the simple, practical approach that they used to create the technology may have been lost when brainstorming ideas for applications.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Miniatiurization
Ann R. Thryft   7/14/2014 12:00:04 PM
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Thanks for your comments, ErikJung. I was thinking about the DIY industry for applying this tech also, although the uses listed by its inventors are a lot more exotic, such as robotic skin.



Reliabilityguru
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Re: Stupefyingly obvious
Reliabilityguru   7/14/2014 11:09:36 AM
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The most elegant engineering solutions are always the simplest, most "obvious" elucidations.

ErikJung
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Iron
Miniatiurization
ErikJung   7/14/2014 9:21:43 AM
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As a followup to the previous comments that miniaturization may offer many benefits - the tech is already available and quite mature. Companies like MC10, StretchableCircuits or research institutes like CSEM, Tyndall and IMEC have since a number of years research ongoing to bring the scale of such circuits in the micron range, offering similar stretch-lenghts and robustness.

However, the featured tech may be hugely attractive for the evolving DIY/Maker movement. being a crowd-enabler, which, due to the infrastructure and equipment requirement, the other player cannot offer.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Stupefyingly obvious
Cabe Atwell   7/11/2014 4:48:55 PM
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I am sure adafruit and site similar are poised to adopt this tech. Neat idea... clothing could easily house everthing needed in the daily life. Absorbing your body heat for power. Who's wearing who?

C

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Stupefyingly obvious
Ann R. Thryft   7/11/2014 12:32:03 PM
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I'm really curious about how this can be applied at smaller scales. Like I said in the blog, it seems stupefyingly obvious in hindsight to make the plane of the circuits stretchable, not the circuits themselves. Obviously, bunching up the circuits in a zig-zag pattern will take a certain amount of real estate, so scaling this down will be an interesting challenge.



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