Soft Robotics W3 + HW#6: Material ConneXion Class Trip

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This past Monday we had the great experience of visiting Material ConneXion!  and their sustainable materials library . It was such a great experience and perfect complement to our Wearables W9 class (Manufacturing + Crafting) that night as well where Loomia came in to talk us through their process. I was attracted to so many materials, and really after signing up for the student account got lost in their Material Library archive for a handful of hours. What a mindblowing resource! Around 8000 material items to learn from in their digital archive. I found myself tending to be attracted to materials that:


  • Natural category / thinking about biodegradable and renewable resources
  • Hard materials becoming Soft – normally hard things that through various processes or additive materials had become soft
  • conductive or electronic materials as explained in Material ConneXion’s Live Materials Review:Structural Electronics




Thinking about knitting soft sensors : Belkinox VN + Wool & the Gang 

Soft Robotics & Wearables class have been complementing eachother in really nice ways. After our Wearables make up class on Friday covering various soft sensor crafting techniques, felt excited about reaching out to sources through Material ConneXion’s database for samples for knitting soft sensors:

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  • Material: Bekinox VN [steel yarn]
  • Manufacturer: Bekintex N.V [Belgium]
  • Manufacturer Site:
  • Link to Material ConneXion Database
  • Sustainability: Easily Recyclable, Single or Mono-materials
  • Material: Continuous filament steel yarn with filament diameters of 0.48 mil (12 micrometers) for 275 filaments, and 0.56 mil (14 micrometers) for 90 filaments
  • Usage: can be processed with textile fibers to fabricate electrically conductive textiles that prevent the build-up of static electricity
  • Applications: include protective clothing, floor coverings, anti-static brushes, filters, electrodes for medical devices




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  • Material: Billie Jean Yarn
  • Manufacturer: Wool and the Gang [UK]
  • Manufacturer Site:
  • Link to Material ConneXion Database
  • Sustainability: Easily Recyclable, Single or Mono-materials
  • Material: Upcycled, pre-consumer denim waste. It has been developed in collaboration with The New Denim Project, a project within a 3rd generation family textile factory promoting conscious consumption and investment in sustainable materials.
  • Process:after jeans are made, denim scraps and offcuts are gathered, ground back down into fibers, then respun into yarn. It comes in three different compositions and colors: 100% upcycled denim (Raw Denim), 60% upcycled denim and 40% upcycled raw cotton (Dirty Denim), and 20% upcycled denim and 80% upcycled raw cotton (Washed Out Denim). As the yarn is upcycled from denim production, it ends up saving 20,000 liters of water per kg compared to ‘fresh’ cotton production. It is lightweight, dye- and harsh-chemical-free and has excellent drape. Unlike some ‘denim yarn’ that is dyed soft cotton, this has the texture and feel of actual denim.
  • Usage / applications: It is used for crocheting and hand knitting sweaters, tops, or year-round wardrobe staples, as well as accessories.







Thinking about Material Categories

The Material ConneXion library  is broken down into 8 different material categories:

  1. carbon
  2. cement
  3. ceramic
  4. glass
  5. metal
  6. natural
  7. polymer
  8. process



More soon!

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