Weaving with Side Emitting Fiber Optics

For the challenge of creating an interactive light object I decided to experiment with weaving side emitting fiber optics to create an entire fabric that reacted from a sensor.

First using the table top loom, I weaved a 20×20 cm sq of fabric, using the side emitting fiber optics in the weft and cotton in the warp. For displaying the fabric I stretched it in a wooden frame that’s usually used for stretching canvas for paintings.



At first I tried to use a microphone as an input sensor. It worked, but the levels were too jumpy, causing the lights to look like there were constantly flickering.

With Mika’s help I tried to use different techniques of smoothing, but found out if I wanted it to work with a slow fade I would have to use something like this sound detector:Screen shot 2014-06-01 at 3.30.21 PM

(Sound Detector SEN-12642)

Instead I used a fan to read as an input sensor. Depending how hard you blow into the fan, the LEDs color would change.

For the LED connection I soldered four RGB LEDs to 4, four pronged header pins. I covered each connection with shrink tube.




I connected each LED to a small bunch of fiber optic wire also using shrink tube and electrical tape.

Using Arduino I connected one RGB LED leg to 3 different PWM pins and to GND.  From there, I connected each of the other 3 LEDs to the same pins using the bread board. So all 4 LEDs are controlled by the same 4 PWM pins. The fan is connected from an analog pin and GND.



Here’s a video !

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