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Enabling platform technology for smart fabric design and printing

Enabling platform technology for smart fabric design and printing
Enabling platform technology for smart fabric design and printing

A hardware and software platform is presented enabling the design, and realisation via printing, of smart fabrics. The cultural and creative industries are an important economic area within which designers frequently utilise fabrics. Smart fabrics offer further creative opportunities to the cultural and creative industries, but designers often lack the required specialist knowledge, in electronics, software and materials, to produce smart fabrics. The software platform offers the ability to perform design, layout and visualisation of a smart fabric using a library of standard smart fabric functions (e.g. electroluminescence) so specialist expertise is not needed. Operation of the smart fabric can be simulated, and parameters can be set for smart fabric control electronics, which consists of standard circuit board modules. The software also provides driver code for the hardware platform to print the smart fabric. The hardware platform consists of a bespoke dispenser printer; functional inks are deposited via a pneumatic syringe controlled by the driver software, allowing bespoke rapid prototyped smart fabrics to be printed. Operation of the software and hardware system is demonstrated by the realisation of an interactive smart fabric consisting of electroluminescent lamps controlled by a proximity sensor. The modular electronics are used to control the smart fabric operation using embedded code generated by the software platform. For example, the blink rate of the electroluminescent lamp can be adjusted by the proximity of a hand. This control is achieved by the use of intuitive drop-down menus and input/output selections by the creative user. At present, the platform allows the design, print and implementation of smart fabrics incorporating the functions of colour change, electroluminescence, sound emission and proximity sensing. The platform can be expanded to add additional functions in the future and the printer will be compatible with new inks developed for screen and inkjet printing.

design software, direct write, dispenser printing, printing, Smart fabrics
Torah, Russel
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Wei, Yang
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Grabham, Neil
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Li, Yi
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de Vos, Marc
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Todorov, Todor
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Popov, Boris
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Marinov, Vlad
4ccf44f0-0a8e-4b71-ba3f-85ad08d3a599
Stoyanov, Svetlozar
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Todorov, Vlad
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Tudor, John
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Torah, Russel
7147b47b-db01-4124-95dc-90d6a9842688
Wei, Yang
8f7387a5-6d75-4032-a645-473a7f18dce5
Grabham, Neil
00695728-6280-4d06-a943-29142f2547c9
Li, Yi
5c22f4d6-a339-4b3d-a43e-7c55eaf304a7
de Vos, Marc
7beb916f-5740-478e-9221-a44fbd066967
Todorov, Todor
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Popov, Boris
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Marinov, Vlad
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Stoyanov, Svetlozar
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Todorov, Vlad
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Tudor, John
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Torah, Russel, Wei, Yang, Grabham, Neil, Li, Yi, de Vos, Marc, Todorov, Todor, Popov, Boris, Marinov, Vlad, Stoyanov, Svetlozar, Todorov, Vlad and Tudor, John (2019) Enabling platform technology for smart fabric design and printing. Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics, 14. (doi:10.1177/1558925019845903).

Record type: Article

Abstract

A hardware and software platform is presented enabling the design, and realisation via printing, of smart fabrics. The cultural and creative industries are an important economic area within which designers frequently utilise fabrics. Smart fabrics offer further creative opportunities to the cultural and creative industries, but designers often lack the required specialist knowledge, in electronics, software and materials, to produce smart fabrics. The software platform offers the ability to perform design, layout and visualisation of a smart fabric using a library of standard smart fabric functions (e.g. electroluminescence) so specialist expertise is not needed. Operation of the smart fabric can be simulated, and parameters can be set for smart fabric control electronics, which consists of standard circuit board modules. The software also provides driver code for the hardware platform to print the smart fabric. The hardware platform consists of a bespoke dispenser printer; functional inks are deposited via a pneumatic syringe controlled by the driver software, allowing bespoke rapid prototyped smart fabrics to be printed. Operation of the software and hardware system is demonstrated by the realisation of an interactive smart fabric consisting of electroluminescent lamps controlled by a proximity sensor. The modular electronics are used to control the smart fabric operation using embedded code generated by the software platform. For example, the blink rate of the electroluminescent lamp can be adjusted by the proximity of a hand. This control is achieved by the use of intuitive drop-down menus and input/output selections by the creative user. At present, the platform allows the design, print and implementation of smart fabrics incorporating the functions of colour change, electroluminescence, sound emission and proximity sensing. The platform can be expanded to add additional functions in the future and the printer will be compatible with new inks developed for screen and inkjet printing.

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1558925019845903 - Version of Record
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 1 April 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 1 May 2019
Keywords: design software, direct write, dispenser printing, printing, Smart fabrics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 430839
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/430839
PURE UUID: 32679d29-133a-448f-bc51-11b9b68d2348
ORCID for Russel Torah: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5598-2860
ORCID for Neil Grabham: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6385-0331

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 May 2019 16:30
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 01:09

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