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Machine Sewable LED Strips

LED strips for soft circuits, paper circuits and more!

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GlowStitch LEDs are flexible, paintable, machine sewable, hand sewable, and colorful. Perfect for hobbyists, makers, cosplayers, and teachers, they are the ultimate all-in-one crafting product for soft circuits, paper circuits, and so much more. Best of all, to get started with GlowStitch LEDs, you won’t need anything more than what comes in the box.

Historically, if you wanted to add LEDs to clothing or soft circuits, you were stuck hand sewing with conductive thread, which is time consuming—even for professionals—and tricky to teach in schools. The sewing-machine compatibility of GlowStitch LEDs brings wearable technology into the modern era. Prototype your design with conductive-fabric tape, then quickly finalize your project with a sewing machine.

Soon to be launched on Crowd Supply! Sign up for updates here: https://www.crowdsupply.com/makerqueenau/glowstitch-leds

The aim to is to make wearable tech faster and more accessible with machine sewing. Using conductive tape, stick the strips down, test and sew! Good for wearable tech, paper circuits and general crafting, no need for Arduino or coding to get started.  


LED Strips Instructions Machine Sewing.pdf

Instructions specific to sewing machine usage.

Adobe Portable Document Format - 185.82 kB - 09/11/2022 at 12:06

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LED Strips Instructions.pdf

General use instructions and example circuit diagrams.

Adobe Portable Document Format - 355.12 kB - 09/10/2022 at 23:52

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LED Strips Glow Bag Project.pdf

A project to decorate a bag with LED Strips.

Adobe Portable Document Format - 211.11 kB - 08/28/2022 at 00:35

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LED Strips Crown Headband Project.pdf

A project to make a simple headband with LED Strips.

Adobe Portable Document Format - 233.52 kB - 08/28/2022 at 00:35

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  • Variety GlowStitch Sheet

    Steph09/22/2022 at 04:50 0 comments

    I've created a mega variety sheet with 15 LED strips, including long, short and ring variations.  Half of these will be in white and half will be in colour cycling rainbow LEDs.  This panelises the variety design into a sheet to make it easy to manufacture and the customer cuts the strips out with scissors or craft knife.  The manufacturer and the customer can test the sheet with the tabs at the base easily to see all the LEDs light up simultaneously.  I've also made the background a beautiful starry night 

    I made this in KiCAD with help from Adobe Illustrator, Rhino 3D and Inkscape.  You have to use tools from all kids of software as standard circuit software is not designed for making art.  The workflow is not clean and feels like it's fighting you at every step to get the right result.  Lots of pixel pushing and convoluted steps, but I'm so happy with this result.  See render below, photos of the real thing coming soon!

  • GlowStitch Rings

    Steph09/22/2022 at 04:34 0 comments

    I now have some prototypes of LED rings with a dozen LEDs making it easier to do larger projects requiring more light diffusion.  Big thanks to PCBWay for sponsoring these, amazing quality as always.  This now makes a the current Glowstitch LED range include rings, strips with 5 LEDs and strips with a single LED for a great variety of projects. 

    Here's a short demo video of how these could be used for larger light diffusion. I some other ideas for using these include Iron man chest / glove cosplays, cyberpunk/tron paintings, halos and jewellery and more.  

  • Sewing Machine Specific Instructions

    Steph09/11/2022 at 12:15 0 comments

    Here's another printable instruction sheet specific to sewing machine usage.  This sheet can help seasoned sewists understand how to get the most out of the LED strips for wearable technology projects.  This draft is still a work in progress and will continue to evolve with feedback.  Check out the printable PDF's in the files section for the latest version!

  • Paint over these LED Strips!

    Steph09/03/2022 at 09:31 0 comments

    Another application of these LED Strips is to use them in art and crafting activities.  You can paint over them and the conductive tape without any effect on the circuit.  

    This is a great way to plan STEAM activities:  Learn electronics while doing art and craft.  You can also uplift your art with LED lights and experiment with interesting ways to diffuse the light in mixed media pieces.  Here's a speed paint video demo of the concept:   

  • Instructions & Project Sheets

    Steph08/28/2022 at 00:59 0 comments

    One of the reasons I'm excited about this project is that it will make electronics easier to learn.  Too often complexity is a barrier to entry for new electronics learners, and this aims to make it smooth and fun to get started.  Here's some instructions sheets I've created to ship with the sample packs for feedback from users, including a double-sided set of general use instructions with circuit diagram examples.  It also comes with a couple of project ideas, including a crown headband and how to make a glow bag.  The aim is to make this accessible to a breadth of people, including teachers who may not have any electronics experience to those who are experienced but have no wearable tech experience.  
    I've made these instruction sheets printable PDF files (download in the files section of this project page) and made them in Adobe Illustrator.  

    It takes longer to make instructions this way but makes it easier for the user to absorb with large images and a bright, colourful, fun design.  I appreciate any feedback or thoughts on these!  More project idea sheets coming soon.

  • Battery Holder Considerations

    Steph08/26/2022 at 01:45 0 comments

    I received my custom tape compatible battery holders in the mail and wanted to mention the small, simple safety feature I've included in this design. 

    Coin cell batteries are a swallowing hazard for young children, and if ingested must be taken to the nearest emergency centre.  In Australia, we have new product safety guidelines which state that products must now contain 'Keep out of reach of children' and 'Swallowing hazard' warnings and the battery holder must be child resistant.  There is a small screw beneath where the battery slides in to make it difficult for a child to remove, and the screw can be removed by a screwdriver.  I have used a 1.6mm hole and 1.6mm screw, but will likely move up to M3 / 3mm size to make sure that an average screwdriver will do the job.  
    Alpenglow also released an interesting alternative to the coin cell battery that is still in progress, a PCB that fits in the shape of the battery.  It can daisy chain many small soldering kits together for displays and convert coin cell battery holders to run USB power. 

  • Product Testing #1: Machine Sewing

    Steph08/21/2022 at 08:46 0 comments

    This weekend, my large order of my LED Strips arrived.  It was taking too much time to hand solder these tiny 0807 size LEDs!  I can now start sending out samples for beta testing and I've begun some of my own product testing.  In this test, I wanted to find out what the failure rate was for repetitive machine sewing on the tabs.  I laid out 100 LED Strips and sewed five lines of straight stitch down each side.  Generally you would only need one or two rows of stitching, and five is overkill. I found that all LED strips still functioned after this torture test, which is an under 1% failure rate.  Super happy with this result!

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