This is a remix of the spikes by metalnat and adafruit
I saw the LED spikes a couple of years ago and I knew I wanted to make something out of it. But I also wanted to modify th design to hide the wires, put in some powerful addressable RGB leds and have them controlled by an arduino.
This can be installed on any type of clothing (but be aware you will need to put holes into it). You can get very creative with the arduino code, make it react to music, have it cycle a rainbow and all kinds of other stuff.
You can print everything out of white or translucent PLA but if you are able to I would suggest printing the spikes out of both PLA and flexible.The bottom houses nuts and needs to be rigid but the rest of the spike will be more resilient if it is printed from flexible filament.
In terms of hardware you will need :
- two M3 nuts, two M3 screws and large washers for every spike
- a ws2812b RGB LED strip (or anything similar)
- a 300 ohm resistor (to smooth the control signal)
- an arduino nano (or other small micro-controller)
- a bunch of cables
- a 5V PowerBank to power the system (6000 mAh gets me over 5h of continuous use)
Big thanks to Loïc Jumel for the pic
Printing and post-printing
The walls of the scale are just a perimeter thick so be sure to have good layer bonding. The base of the scales will house an M3 nut to make it easy to secure them to the fabric, this nut can be added after printing.
As I said, if you can, it might be a good idea to print the scales in a flexible material but remember they will need to hold the nuts.
Check out the diagrams below to see how to assemble the scales and base and secure them to the fabric. You will need to makes holes in the fabric for the screws.
Securing the scales to the fabric
Pockets for M3 nuts
Assembly ready to be closed
The wiring is pretty simple, an arduino nano is used to control the LEDs. Power comes from a 5V power bank. A 300 ohm resistor is used to to smooth the control signal btween the arduino and the LEDs.
I used 3 LEDs for every scale to make sure I had a very bright light and because more LEDs make for smoother animations.
Soldering the wires to the LEDs can be a bit tedious as you need to route the wires through the holes in the fabric.
The wires and electronics can be secured to the inside of the hoodie by making loops of thread. Pinching the wires between the washers and the base of the spike is a great way to add stress relief.
I've sewn a pocket on the inside of the hoodie to house the battery.
Code and Animations
Because the LEDs are addressable it is very easy to make some great animations on the spikes. I've included the code for a rainbow effect.
The LEDs can be controlled using the fastled library for arduino.