Carly’s Plush Prototype

This week, things got real. In class we learned how to solder and practiced hand-stitching in combination with the sewing machines. These tasks required me to call upon on my 8th grade self to remember how to build a circuit and pace myself on the sewing machine. It took 3 tries to end up with a [proper] prototype, and there are still many adjustments to be made. I have decided to create a uterus plush with the aim that blinking lights will be inserted along the edges of the central component. For this prototype, I explored how light behaves with felt, a rather think material. I will use this knowledge to pick a thinner fabric for my next iteration.

Now, a look at my process…

During my first attempt, I cut out my fabric in the exact shape and size of my imagined final product. When I finished sewing and tried to turn the object inside out (to make my stitches invisible) I simply could not get the fabric to move through my tiny fallopian tubes! I tried to force the fabric, but to no avail. So, I made a larger template.

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This time, I used a thinner material; it was easier to work with, but slippery compared to the original felt material. So, I completely missed contact between the fabric and the sewing needle, resulting in this…

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Finally, I combined my new knowledge of material and size to create my most successful version of the prototype. To add light, I took apart a small flashlight. The on/off switch on the flashlight initiated contact between two metal component on a small motherboard, closing the circuit. By putting the stripped down version of the flashlight into my plush toy, I was able to give the sensation that the light reacts to pressure. If you squeeze the object, light is emitted. Below are some process photos.

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A breakdown of my flashlight, and harvesting the motherboard and LED…

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And it works!