Maquette – Nicholas Weddington

Since I am new to fiber optics, I decided to familiarize myself with the various sizes under different types of light. Doing this allowed me to see how the light would reflect throughout the cable and the intensity of the light. I favored the small and medium-sized cables the most. Clear cables would be the best option because it will give the user the ability to choose whatever color optics they desire. If they are wearing a green top and would like to turn on the green lights or a colour-changing pattern, then they have the freedom to do so. In the third picture, I was testing how various colored lights look through the cable. I realized that the angle that the tip of the cable is pointed makes a difference in the intensity of light viewed by the people around the user.

 My next step was to decide how to weave the cable through the jeans. Zac Posen wove the fiber optics strands into thin organza fabric, and I figure that I could accomplish the same effect by weaving them through sturdy jeans. The example of cables that I had was too thick to weave through, so I tried two other methods. First, I tried to wave through skipping the same amount over and underneath the denim fabric, because I did not want the cables to just sit on top of the jeans. Once I tested this style in the dark, I decided to try something else. I spread the cable out on top of the jeans over larger gaps and held it down by weaving it through 3 white strands. This look was better but would work nice with the smaller cable. I became concerned that if the optics were sitting on top of the jeans then the user could accidentally break the threads that hold the cable by moving abruptly. To fix this, I could double wrap the sections that are holding down the wire using white thread. On the other hand, I discovered that bending the optic cable caused the light to refract and change the intensity position. This would be good if I decide to increase the light intensity higher up on the jeans.

For the technical specifics, I decide to use a strip of color-changing LEDs with a USB to connect to a power bank. The LED strip will line the inside of the beltline and have the fiber optics connected to them. A dark thick fabric will be placed on top of the LED strip flushed to the jeans so that all the light-exposed can go directly through the fiber optic cables. In this fabric, I will create a pocket that can hold the small portable battery connected to the USB. I was concerned about the battery getting too hot on the waist and possibly burning the user, so I decided to go with this battery since it has safety regulation with short-circuit and over-current sensing, which will shut the battery down if something occurs while powering the LED strip. The lights will be controlled by an app so the user will have the ability to change the colors of the LEDs from wherever they are. When the user is done with the jeans, they can disconnect the battery and the USB cable and wash them since the LEDs are waterproof, but I would suggest that they hand dry them.

Moving forward, I want to narrow downsize of fiber optics I would like to use so that I can order them. I need to create a list of parts to estimate the cost for reproduction, test the optics on the LED strip, find the pocket fabric, order the electronic components from Amazon, and put more detail what design I want the fiber optic cables to make.

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