10/26 Class Notes

Homework Due Wednesday, November 2:

Continue your research with material sensors and actuators in a hands-on project. For next Wednesday’s class you should prepare a 5-10 minute presentation and a blog post that documents your project. Monday, October 31 will be an in-class work day, so bring everything you need to class to work on this. This project can take one of two forms:


1. Build a novel sensor or actuator
Create your own sensor or actuator, document your construction process, and describe the electrical and mechanical properties of the sensor or actuator (create a draft datasheet). See an example bare bones datasheet for a flex sensor here and a more complete one for a pressure sensor here. Your “datasheet” should include the physical dimensions of the device, a textual explanation of its basic functionality, and a quantitative documentation of its functionality.

2. Build and use a material-based sensor or actuator in a design project
Build a sensor or actuator that is new to you and incorporate it in a design project. The material properties of the sensor should play an important role–aesthetic, conceptual, and/or functional–in the project. Take photos throughout your building process. Make a note of challenges you encounter and techniques or approaches you develop. Reflect on the affordances of the sensor and materials you used and how you might use them in other contexts or larger projects.

Your presentation and blog post should include:

  • A description of your project.
  • Images and/or videos that document your process.
  • A discussion of challenges, frustrations, and/or epiphanies.
  • Reflections on how you might use the material or technique in your practice in the future.

Add your blog post to the class website before class on 11/2. Bring your project to class on Wednesday for an in person demonstration and discussion.

Laser Cut Conductive Fabric

Nadya Peek




3D Printed Sensors



3D Printed Battery Holder


3D Printed LED diffuser


Jie Qi




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