This past week was the last iteration for my Star Drip light up jeans. In this blog post, I will discuss the struggles that I encountered and the steps I followed leading up to my final product.
The rest of my parts arrived on Tuesday so I got to work as soon as I could. I started by cutting the long fiber optic cable into 3-foot segments and held 4 together with tape. I then marked on the jeans where the optics would initially be inserted to connect to the LEDs. I threaded each cable through the jeans perfectly spacing 2inches above and 2 inches below the denim at varying lengths, which unexpectedly took very long.
The largest problem I encountered was how to secure the optics to the LEDs. I ordered a plastic bonding epoxy which was a bad idea because it did not dry clear and it did not dry solid. After testing and letting sit overnight, I ran to home depot and grabbed some clear quick epoxy and silicone adhesive. I started with the epoxy and let it dry for 20 hours and it held pretty strong so I went ahead and applied it to half of the jeans. Surprisingly, this was tough because the cables kept bending and popping out of the hole disconnecting from the LED so I had to hold them down and let them dry overnight before doing anything else to the jeans.
I proceeded to secure them to the jeans by using epoxy to bond them and black adhesive felt to prevent light from escaping the optics from the source. A small pocket was made out of the felt to hold the battery and USB cable. After letting everything dry for some time, I cut the tips of the cables and positioned them as desired. I was terrified that the fiber optic cables would rip directly from the LEDs and no light would show, but they did not. The pants worked better than I imagined. When I took pictures showing how they worked, I decided to have some fun with the shutter speed on my friend’s camera and they turned out really cool.