Intro to Fabrication – Materials and fasteners

For this weeks assignment I tried a few different things – not everything was succesful, so I had to change my idea a few times. For my PCOMP final I am building a wearable strap that measures respiration, however I have not yet come up with a good solution as to how to cover the cables that goes into the fabric. So for this assignment I wanted to make a case that gets covered in fabrics.

This was the starting point:

For the case I went down and bought some mints and toothpicks as these cases had the size I was looking for to hold my boards. I later realized that in order to later acces the board again, I would have to go with the toothpick case. This case had a plastic circle in the middle that I cleared using a wirecutter to make space for the boards.

I then used the metal nippler to create passages for the wires going to and from the board. And as this didn’t work out well I also tried drilling holes (I knew the case was going to be hidden by fabric – so the rough look didn’t really matter). I started out with a smaller drillbit and gradually increased the size. However, for the head of my battery connection to fit I realized that I needed the passages to be quite big.

At this point I realized that making the holes fit for me to access the board, switches and battery was going to be very difficult. So at this point I decided to 3d print a case instead. After finally finding the time and a 3d printer that worked I printed a case to contain the electronics. This took a lot more time and effort than I had expected.

After a lot of soldering and adjustments to the board I managed to fit the switch, microcontroller, bluetooth and polar pulse sensor into the enclosure.

The next thing I wanted to do was to create an enclosure to hold the case. I wanted to make this enclosure out of fabric – so that it could be sewn into my bigger chest strap;
First I measured the dimensions of the case and outlined it on the fabric

I then connected the sides using thread.

When both sides had been sewn I cut of the excess fabric and turned the case “inside out”.

Although some things could have been done more precisely I’m very happy with the outcome. Considering what I started out with – my final case/enclosure will work really well in my final device. Also, I got to try some different materials and new techniques.

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