A series of studies combining computation, fashion, nature, organic and man made materials.
The pieces are first inspired by my fascination with cordyceps, a fungal parasite that attacks arthropods. Once infected, the fungus slowly takes control of the insect both mentally and physically. Before the insect dies, the fungus makes it climb high onto a branch and grip on, giving it an advantageous place to spread spores. Once the insect is dead, the cordyceps protrudes out, breaking through the exoskeleton. There are many species of cordyceps varying in size, shape an color. Most of these only attack one species of arthropod.
I wanted to express organic patterns/forms, nature and in particular the invasive characteristics of growth in certain organisms.
Experiment 1: Actually growing something… Chia Test! I printed a voronoi substrate on a Makerbot with 0 infill and cancelled the print before it could cap off the object. This left me with channels where I could cultivate some chia seeds. The experiment started off looking great, but after a couple weeks the leaves filled in and the thick canopy lost all definition of the substrate form.
Experiment 2: Growth in Processing. I used the Toxiclibs library in Processing to import STL files and “grew” meshes off each other.
Finally, my stab at a more polished wearable representation of my experimentation.
The large piece was created on a Makerbot Replicator 2 with live moss and the smaller head piece was made by Shapeways in white strong and flexible.
For our energy final, Mary, Maria Paula and myself plan on powering a lilypad arduino and LED POV by harvesting the energy from waving the LEDs around by using a coil and magnet.
First test: we wondered about the possibility of charging a lipo battery with the coil. We used a lipo charger/booster connected to a 110mAh 3.7V battery. We ran the AC current through a bridge rectifier, a 7805 and a bunch of capacitors to try to get a constant level voltage. The power from the coil was able to make the light on the charger blink but did not provide a constant 5V to charge the battery.
After consulting the all mighty Eric Rosenthal, he advised us to skip on the lipo battery and just use a BUNCH more capacitors because it would probably take hours to charge up that tiny lipo battery. Instead, we ran the AC current through a bridge rectifier, to 10 4700 uF capacitors, then to the 7805 and finally to the lilypad. That worked!!! Because we put all the caps before the voltage regulator, they were able to supply a more consistent voltage to the regulator for a more consistent voltage output. When we measured the voltage with the load on it, the meter read 3.6V.
For my final in computation and fashion I am looking to blend digital design and fabrication with organic forms and materials.
I am very inspired by images of patterns in nature on a macro and micro level. My search has lead me to some amazing images of fungal parasite growth on insects. Once an insect is infected with these fungi, they continue living but eventually fall under the control of the fungus, going after things and environments that are beneficial to the fungus. They eventually die and the fungus then blooms and projects out through the exoskeleton ready to spread its spores for the next host.
My idea is to produce several pieces for a series of 3D printed exploration in biomimicry… accessories that form to and grow from the host human…
First test: growing chia seeds from a 3D printed substrate. I used Processing to generate voronoi forms and exported the vectors. Then the vectors were pulled into rhino and made into solids. I then printed it on a makerbot with zero infill and stopped the print half way through so it wouldn’t be capped at the top, leaving channels for the seeds.
Print board design on transfer paper using laser printer & cut out shape. Prepare the copper board by sanding off protective layer with a scrubber or fine steel wool.
Lay the printed circuit design face down on copper and feed thru laminator 5 times (the laminator we used was hacked so it goes through slower and at at a higher temperature). After going through the laminator, drop the plat into a container of water for a few minutes and agitate. When it is ready, the paper will separate from the copper on its own and leave the printed design on the copper.
Cut out the design leaving as little copper on the edge as possible without cutting into the black printed part (less copper = faster etching time). Drop the copper board into container of ferric chloride (with gloves on). Agitating the acid will speed up etching process.
After about 20-30 minutes, the board is ready and we put in water to neutralize acid. Only the copper under the printed design remains while everything else is disolved. Last step is to sand off the toner and drill holes for the components.
Shapelock was a great material to experiment with. The material heats up quickly with a heatgun and becomes moldable. When I heated a pile of it up, I decided that I really liked the organic structure, look and feel of the pellets themselves so I used that to make a couple pieces and molded it to my body.
Experiment 2: Voronoi Cells
I used a processing script from Mark K. and Shieva R. as inspiration to generate voronoi forms and brought the geometry into Rhino. Final Step, Makerbot.
Mary Fe, Maria Paula and I finally got our shake on! We learned that it is best to use thin copper wire wound very tightly and many many times to get the most voltage. The best coil we got can put out a max of 10 volts.
We soldered up a board with 6 LEDs, a bridge rectifier and 4 0.0047F capacitors in parallel to hold some of the charge.
For our midterm project, we decided to make a wearable/mobile system that produces energy by either shaking or beating it.
First, we thought about using piezos, but they produced almost no current with high voltage peaks. Inspired by shake-lights, we proposed to build a shaking system with copper coil and a neodymium magnet passing through it.
Our first attempt was a failure. It produced something around 0.06V (60 mV) and 4 miliAmps. The problem was: the coil was too small. We needed a LOT more wire.
We tried other coils and started getting some more interesting numbers. The coil on the left in the first picture produced a bit more than 10V! The middle one 5V and the smallest reached 2.5V.
To calculate Power, we measured the voltage difference when charging up a capacitor. Doing the math, we reached the following numbers: