How do you bind circuit boards to extensible fabric ?

Hello,

I am building a glove to supports a series of small boards (Arduino Pro Mini, breakout boards for sensors). Some board wil be on the back of the hand but some will be on the phalanxes.

How would you bind the boards to the glove ? The main issue is the elasticity of the fabric, which is not much elastic but elastic nevertheless. So the surface under every board is not the same when the glove is worn and when it is not.

I have already tried Velcro which is fine when one can glue a complete piece of Velcro strip on the back of a board, so it works only with boards having a flat bottom.

For small components I have tried hot glue and basically it works but it's not very clean and also it's quite rigid so it's not good for larger pieces or boards with more footprint. Also, I do not want to cover boards with hot glue.

I suppose I could sew boards with holes for screws but I can't sew and small board tend not to have a hole in every corner therefore I don't think it would be a solution.

Any suggestion ? Maybe there could be some way to bind the board's corners to the fabric ? A kind of cradle ? Is it a job for 3D printing ?

Thank you in advance.

Look at Lilypad (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11190) or Flora (http://www.adafruit.com/products/659) systems. These are meant to be sewn into costumes.

Note, if you scroll down on this site, you will see that there is a forum dedicated to e-textiles and craft setups, and it is likely that people may already have done similar things to what you want to do http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?board=13.0

MichaelMeissner: Look at Lilypad (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11190) or Flora (http://www.adafruit.com/products/659) systems. These are meant to be sewn into costumes.

Note, if you scroll down on this site, you will see that there is a forum dedicated to e-textiles and craft setups, and it is likely that people may already have done similar things to what you want to do http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?board=13.0

I know about Flora-style boards but they don't suit my needs. Also I have posted to this forum because I feared the other one to be totally sew-minded, but maybe I am wrong.

Thanks Michael.

amundsen: I know about Flora-style boards but they don't suit my needs. Also I have posted to this forum because I feared the other one to be totally sew-minded, but maybe I am wrong.

Fair enough. I couldn't tell whether you were familiar with such things.

In terms of hot glue, I have used it in my steampunk camera setup, and I'm pretty fed up with it, as I have had bits and pieces fall off during the day. In fact yesterday, I was rushing to get out with my main camera (which I ultimately did not use) and the crystal the flash goes through had come off once again, and because I was running out of time, I wound up attaching the crystal to the hot glue that had previously come off.

As I post this, I do have another idea. Attach the electronic bits to a piece of leather, and put grommets into the leather on the outside, and then use leather/elastic laces to attach it to the glove. I imagine you could attach the bits to something with mounting holes (protoboards perhaps), and then use wire, elastic, or leather to attach it. Depending on the glove, you could either attach grommets to the glove, or just wrap the laces several times around the hand.

Another approach would be not to attach it to a glove per se, but attach it further up the wrist in a bracer and then run wires for the leds or sensors to the actual glove.

Ah yes, pieces of leather and grommets could do the trick. I have to think about it.

I ended with circuits being put on top of rigid pieces of plastic and tied to the fabric with hook-and-loop fastener ("Velcro"). One part of the fastener is tied to fabric using SMP-polymer glue. The opposite part is glued on plastic with cyanoacrylate ("Super glue"). Very efficient.

This is too late now, but: Duct tape! Comes in lots of colors too. I always suggest that to my longer haired fencing students who forgot (again) to bring a hair scrunchy - never get an appreciative look back for that tho 8)

Duct tape is nice but not really appropriate as double-side tape don't you think ? Also, would you use it for long-term bindings (I am not thinking about long haired students...) ?

amundsen: Duct tape is nice but not really appropriate as double-side tape don't you think ? Also, would you use it for long-term bindings (I am not thinking about long haired students...) ?

I've had problems with both duct tape and double-sided tape coming off at the wrong time. The problem with costumes is you move about. Depending on the costume, heat buildup might be an issue. Also, duct tape tends to leave a residue if you need to remove it (or if it comes off on its own). Sure, it is great for quick fixes, but it is not great for long term usage.

I did discover some time ago, that some brands of 'duct' tape are completely useless for ducts that carry hot air, such as the dryer duct venting to the outside. I melted the tape in a few days.

It was meant more tongue in cheek. I mostly tease my students as encouragement to bring their own hair holding devices next class. Eye glass straps too.

Maybe you could glue the board to a thin layer of foam which in turn is glued/stitched to the glove? The foam would allow the board and the glove to flex relative to each other and also allow for the two surfaces not exactly fitting each other. The more flexibility you need, the thicker the foam used. If the board size was big enough (relative to the curvature of the surface it's being attached to) you could sculpt the foam to fit the two parts.

While it probably isn't the ultimate answer, Adafruit just came out with a flexible Perma-Proto Half-sized Breadboard Flex-PCB: http://www.adafruit.com/products/1518