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Electronics embedded in elastomer enabled this exotic dress

Arduino TeamNovember 3rd, 2023

Integrating electronic components into textiles is usually a challenge, as they are rigid and most textile applications require flexibility. But new materials and fabrication processes are changing that dynamic. FashionTech designer Anouk Wipprecht and Chromatic 3D Materials were able to take advantage of those to develop this futuristic, motion-activated dress illuminated by embedded LEDs and circuitry.

75 soft, flexible domes cover the body of the dress. Those contain LEDs and light up in response to people around it. And unlike similar designs, this garment is able to conform to the wearer thanks to the use of innovative new materials.

The most notable of those materials is Chromatic’s ChromaFlow 70, which is a type of polyurethane resin meant for Reactive Deposition Modeling (RDM) 3D printing. The RDM process combines the benefits of conventional resin 3D printing with Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) by extruding layers of viscous resin that are immediately cured. ChromaFlow 70 is very strong and flexible, making it perfect for this application. And RDM is the ideal process, as it is possible to print directly onto the underlying textile while pausing to allow for placement of the electronic components.

The illumination comes from Adafruit Flora RGB NeoPixel V2 LEDs, controlled by an Arduino UNO R4 and Nano board. Those are able to detect movement via a proximity sensor.

Wipprecht and Chromatic 3D created this stunning dress for the Formnext convention in Frankfurt, Germany, where it will be on display from November 7th to November 10th in Hall 12.1.

Boards:NanoUno R4