electroWave || color changing sleeve

by lefroyobunny

For this project I created a sleeve that changes color in the pattern of an electrical wave when a voltage is applied. The idea for the pattern came from a cartoon-y vision I have of a beam of electricity passing through the body.

The first step is to estimate the amount of current that will go through the circuit. I laid out an estimated amount of conductive thread needed for the pattern and determined its resistance with the multimeter. The estimated resistance was 17 ohms. Using Ohm’s Law, the current is determined to be 218 mA.

To make sure that the circuit has at least 100mA and to account for practical errors, I double threaded the needle to sew the pattern. Below is the finished stitch work.

Here are some measurements and calculations I took of this project:

battery ~ 3.72v

resistance ~ 11 Ω

calculated I ~ 338 mA

measured I ~ 180 mA

It is interesting that the measured current is so much less than the calculated current. I think one reason could be because the contact points (the button and the power switch)  are sewn on too loosely, making it hard for the current to pass through the circuit.

Here is a link to the video of the textile changing color. The color change is quite faint and subtle, but if you look for it, you can see the blue region becoming more red, first in the middle then the sides.

Because I had some extra time, I decided to make this pattern wearable. I took two pieces of the canvas and put a piece of felt in the center to act as an insulator between the body and the color-changing canvas. then, I sewed some buttons to one side and some yarn on the other, and voilà it becomes a sleeve.

This is the final product.