Studio Contrechoc

design & textile & technology entries

Monthly Archives: February 2015

Solar Wind: script and testing hardware

Specs hardware:

Ventilator motors: 5  – 3 phase motors, running (just) on 5V, also on a fully charged lipo.

Microcontroller: atmega328P


  • DHT11 temperature and humidity sensor
  • LDR, light value sensor
  • push button

Battery: lipo 14oo mA

Lipo Charger included.

On off switch, between lipo+charger and the microcontroller.

Script: made in arduino environment

The 3 phase motors are driven by making the PIN’s go HIGH LOW like this:

the voltage of 4-5V and the current provided by the PIN’s seems to be enough so no ULN is needed in between the PIN’s and the motors.

Microcontroller PIN‘s:

  • 2,3, — 17 —,  ventilator 1
  • 5,6,7,   ventilator 2
  • 8,9,10,   ventilator 3
  • 11,12,13,   ventilator 4
  • 14,15,16,   ventilator 5
  • 4, DHT11 PIN
  • 18, pushbutton PIN: to control the modes of the script.

Executing Modes:

  1.  always on: 5 ventilators are running alternating thr direction
  2.  LDR mode: ventilators run when low light value
  3.  Temperature mode: ventilators run when the temparature is above 21 degrees Celsius.

The modes are mode for presenting and testing. With the pushbutton the different modes can be selected. The LDR mode is nice to show an emmediate effect.

Script testing:

On a fully charged 1400 mA lipo (3.7V) the script can run in mode 1 (always 5 rotating ventilators ):

more than 7 hours, after 8 hours the rotating is visibly slower, but still moving…

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Social Wind: development of the yellow motor holder

The 3D printer allows to make a nice connecting shape between the textile and the electronic hardware. For “Social Wind” i have chosen  3 phase motors:

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The problem (in the old days) was how to sew the motors inside the jacket. Nowadays this is not really easy using the 3D printer, because you have to print quite a lot of tests, but you arrive at a nice holder of the same color as the fabric – or the color you need.

The cooling effect comes from ventilators, not for example Peltier elements. The ventilators provide a gentle cooling effect and are at the same time a nice moving shape. The Peltier elements would be inserted in the fabric and not even visible. This leaves absolute freedom for the design, but hides the functioning.

The development of the shapes to hold the motor in this jacket can be seen in this picture of all the shapes printed for these 5 motors which will be sewn in the jacket:

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First I tried to print the whole ventilator as one piece. No doubt with an expensive 3D printer this could be done, but with my terrible ROBO printer a better option was to print the axis and the blades seperately.

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Because the five ventilators will be running close to each other, the ventilators rotate against each other. This has to be tested first:

Later on the axis were made higher and lower, so the ventilators could run close together.

All the five attached to the microcontroller:

The motors run at 5V which is probably too low. So the power of the motors is big enough for small blades, but these blades are to big if you start right away at a fairly high speed. The solution was to start slowly and build ip momentum. Then the motor can rotate these 5 blades without a problem.

The STL files will be available soon.













Social Wind – first sketch

First images of the Social Wind Design. The idea came from the Warming Dress, see former post

This design called “Social Wind” in a (humorous and friendly) discourse with Warming Dress will become a cooling jacket. The material used for the jacket is fleece, color bright yellow. The basic building shape of the jacket is a trapezoid. Five are used for the conic shape under the middle connection and 5 are used for the top shape. Completing the 3D shape of the jacket are the two shoulder pieces, on top of this jacket shape are two long collors, which run along the neck to the middle, providing stiffness and at the same time pockets for the batteries. The sleeves (inspired by the sleeves used in the Middle Ages which were also used as pockets) are made of two half circles folded open. Theses sleeves fall open to the front and provide space for the small microcontroller (the arduino used for testing the motors will be replaced by a bare bone atmega328 or 5 attiny85 and a central unit with a RF12 transceiver) and the interface for the wearer.

The back has an open strip. Over this strip holders will be attached for 5 small motors that are printed of yellow PLA. The 5 rotors blades on the axis of each motor are leave like.

The motors are so called 3 pahase motors, that means that they can be driven using 3 wires. The script for the motors is fairly simple, the schema presented in this post:

was used. The 5V from the Arduino (in test setup) is probably a little bit too low for these motors, so the script uses a slow start up. For small ventilator blades starting at higher rotation speed wasn’t a problem, but with the bigger blades apparently the moment of inertia was too big. Starting with a slow rotation solved this problem. All the electronics will be gathered in a speical pocket which can be easily removed after discarding the jacket.

Printing the parts between the electronics and the fabric was another detailed process, besides the sewing of the jacket.

The rotor blades are printed as parts, not as a whole shape. The 3D printer used didn’t produce a nice shape if this ventilator was printed as one form. Making 5 blades and sticking these blades in a central axis is more efficient. More details about these 3D prints will be given in another post.


The yellow color of the PLA exactly matched the color of the fleece fabric, the camera is unable to show the exact bright, nearly fluorescent color of the fleece and PLA>

Many details still have to be solved, like the buttons, closing the jacket in front, wiring, designing the interface. There will be 5 ventilators at the back. The ventilator structure in front has to be designed.

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Video’s of Social Wind working: