magπ

A crafty, nommy, occassionally geeky blog-thing.

Aniomagic Glam: Easy-Peasy Etextiles

I know Aniomagic best for their LED sequins — tiny, flat (surface mount) LEDs that have either been mounted onto tiny board with sew-through holes (and on board resistor), or soldered onto conductive, sew-through beads. These sorts of attractive, low-profile, sewable LEDs are a staple of soft-circuits.

Sewable LEDs

But Aniomagic also makes pre-programmed controller boards for LEDs, which make it really easy for crafters to start playing with etextiles without having to know electronics or programming. With my last LED order, I picked up one of their Glam kits, to see just how simple (and usable) it was.

The kit comes with the Glam board, 2 additional LEDs, conductive thread, and two adhesive dots which serve as a battery holder. The Glam board itself is very discrete (1.5cm across), with 1 LED mounted in the centre, contact points for attaching two more LEDs, and a touch button. It comes programmed with different timing patterns for the LEDs (including an off pattern), which can by toggled by touching the touch pad.

For my project, I made a fabric box-fold flower.

Folding a box-fold flower

Ruffling a box-fold flower

The glam board was the sewn into the centre of the flower with conductive thread, using the top (positive) and bottom (negative) holes on the board. These threads are attached to the battery, at the back of the flower, using the adhesive dots.

The glam board has four additional holes, two on each side. The two external LEDs are attached to the the board with more conductive thread.

In about 20 minutes, my project had 3 working lights that pulsed and could be turned off, without any bulky componentry, or programming. Unfortunately, the external LEDs are addressed the same, so they always pulse in unison. However, in some of the patterns, the onboard LED pulses seperately, which adds a bit of interest to the pattern.

Blinkenlichten

Although the board only has ports for two external LEDs, additional LEDs can be daisy-chained. More lights means more good.

LEDs in parallel

The adhesive dot battery holder is very low profile & easy to install (the positive and negative threads are stuck to the battery with two stickers), but I’m not sure how easy it will be to change the battery, and whether or not the adhesive dots will also need to be replaced. Given the force (and potential damage to fabric) required to remove the battery, I wouldn’t recommend using these on fragile projects.

Battery holder

In all, the kit wasn’t terribly expensive, was quick and easy to put together, has discrete components which will integrate well with a wide variety of projects, and produces a pleasing effect. For a crafter who wants to jump into etextile effects without having to learn a lot about electronics, this would be a great place to start.

CC:Kwartzlab