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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Introduction

After months of working with Silicone and being frustrated with how much clothing we’ve ruined by getting weird goops onto it, Andy finally had the realization that this might actually make silicone a really good material to print with!

So a few days before, preparing for Arse Elektronika 2014, we tested it out and it worked great! This Silcscreening(?) process has a couple key advantages over other fabric printing processes I have played around with:

Durable – It’s pure silicone bonded with your fabric and it is heat and water resistant! Haven’t noticed any kind of fade in the fabric from old stains.

Textural – Depending on how you apply the silicone you can get different textural patterns. You can make it nice and smooth, get tattered edges, or even have a spikey texture all over it.

Structural – Because you can apply it with some thickness, you could more securely and waterproofly mount e-textiles into your clothing while maintaining. You can alter its opacity and internal reflectance (with stuff like Glitter) also to create nice glow patterns with embedded LEDs.

Protective – This printing not only looks neat, but it can also reinforce parts of your clothing that might be in high-impact zones.

Quick! – The silicone we use is fully set up in just an hour. Your shirts are ready to wear really quickly and won’t take up tons of drying space and also don’t need a final ironing to make them stick like many fabric paints.

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This section assumes more familiarity with programming. You will want to be somewhat familiar with data types, variable scope, arrays, and pointers to get the most out of this section.

Vibration patterns

At some point, you’ll probably want to get a bit more creative than simply turning a motor on/off over and over again. The OS Sex library has a few features to help you make more intricate vibration patterns.

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Our Multivibes run our open-source OS Sex software, giving you complete control over how your toy behaves and responds.

Interested in hacking your sex toy? Read on for our Getting Started guide and also check out our Gallery for examples of cool hacks that others have made.

 

First things first

If you’re interested in programming but have never done it before, the first thing to know is don’t be intimidated. You can do it.

Plus, we live in an era where you can talk to almost anyone on Earth any time you want. There are lots of people out there (starting with us here at Comingle) that want to help you. So don’t sweat it!

 

Background

Your Multivibe runs on an Arduino. An Arduino is basically a small computer that can be easily programmed and adapted for a variety of purposes, such as making a pollution detector, a biking jacket with visible turn signals, a way for plants to tweet when they need water, and of course sex toys.

What makes Arduino fun to use is that it’s very simple and you can easily manipulate its inputs and outputs.

Inputs are how you talk to the Arduino. Touch screens, heart-rate monitors, microphones, buttons, keyboards, brainwave helmets, etc. are all inputs.

Outputs are how the Arduino talks to you. In the case of your Multivibe, the outputs are the vibrating motors — the Arduino controls when they turn on and at what intensity.

So you could think of your software (and programming in general) as just directing what to do with the inputs and outputs:

  • “If I press this button, turn all the motors on. If I press it again, turn them off.”
  • “If my heartrate is 60 beats per minute or less, don’t do anything. If it’s between 61 and 90 beats per minute turn the first motor on. If it’s greater than 90 beats per minute, also turn the second motor on.”
  • “Listen to the microphone, and vibrate to the beat of the music.”

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Comingle works to develop DIY open-source sex technology. Our goal is to document and share designs for hacking existing devices as well as providing parts and kits for building new forms of sex toys. The mission of our work is to promote sexual empowerment through physical computing, education, and outreach.
Technologically, we focus on developing:

  • novel, embodied means of interaction
  • new modes of stimulation, and
  • methods for safely building and modding sex toys yourself.

Currently we are in our initial phase of research and development. We are developing new types of devices as well as holding workshops for evaluation and outreach. If you would like to know more about our endeavors at this early stage, please contact us at: info|at|comingle.io, or subscribe to our mailing list!