Tuesday, July 23, 2013


by Lotte Baerends

In General
There are different tools to cut fabrics. I will discuss a few of these tools. Which tool is the best depends on the type of fabric is being used and what de desired result is.

Scissors can cut materials by placing a material in between the two blades. The blades then slide next to each other cutting the material. They have small equally sized handles and come in a large variety sizes and qualities. Usually scissors are used for cutting paper or packages but scissors can also be used for cutting fabric. If they are used to cut fabric, they should only be used to cut fabric. Cutting other fabrics would make the scissors dull.


Shears look very similar compared to scissors. They both use sliding blades to cut materials, but the shear on the other hand have a different design for cutting fabric. One side of the shear has an larger handle, so it can be hold with a couple of fingers and the thumb in the other smaller handle. There are different types of shears. Shears should only be used for cutting fabric as well to prevent it from becoming dull quickly. The dressmaker’s shear and pinking shear are used for cutting fabric.

The dressmaker shear has straight blades and an handle that is off-set in an angle. This way the lower blade is able to stay flat on the surface. The fabric doesn’t have to be lifted this way which allows you to cut with a smooth motion.

The pinking shear is an tool that can be used for cutting and trimming fabric. But are mainly used for cutting fabric seams. The blades of the shear are jagged so it breaks with the thread pattern. This keeps the seam from unravelling.

Rotary Cutter

The rotary cutter is very similar to a pizza cutter. Except the rotary cutter has an extremely sharp blade so it can smoothly cut through fabric. The rotary cutter should be used on a cutting mat. This cutting technique allows you to cut very accurate. The tool comes in different scales. A larger wheel makes it possible to cut through multiple layers of fabrics. But doing so will most likely make your cutting work less accurate. This cutting technique is a very swift one and can save you a lot of time.

Hot Knife

The hot knife is an tool which is used to slice the fabric using heat. A metal blade is attached to an electric handle which heats the blade. The heat of the blade will melt the fabric and divide it into separate parts. This technique only works on a synthetic/polyester fabric because these fabrics are able to melt. With a hot knife you should cut on a surface which can stand heat, such as glass. When cutting fabric with this tool, the cutting edges don’t unravel. It also gives a lot of freedom in shapes you can cut.

Another useful tool when cutting fabrics is the ruler. This can be used when cutting with a rotary cutter or a hot knife. Keep in mind that the ruler is suitable for the technique of your choice.

Laser Cutting Machine

This tool works with a laser beam. The laser beam has an high temperature which can divide the fabric. As an result of the high temperature the edges are sealed or the faying is eliminated. The laser cutting machine can take orders up to 60 feet/18 meters of fabric. A design can easily be made in an adobe illustrator, pdf or AutoCad format for example.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


ok, after watching this video, we have to admit that we have to build something like that also once in the bucky lab ....




This week our dear friend Kees had his 62th Birthday and at the same time his 40 year anniversary of beeing in the TU Delft. Can you imagine that, 40 years at the faculty !

To celebrate this Kees invited for a BBQ under the trees, thanks and all the best !



Wednesday, July 10, 2013


We started a small video series about our tools and how things work in detail. Have a look, we started with festool and Frans is explaining the plunge router. More will follow and also english versions.

Check our new page videos

and here is no1 out of 3


Friday, July 5, 2013


Every year the student association Stylos is asking the students who deserves to get the title of the best docent of the year. This time our Dr. Bucky Lab was nominated for this together with a group of 4 other docents within the faculty of architecture.

At the end Engbert van der Zaag won the race and became docent of the year, beeing already nominated for 3 times, he deserved this title very much. So congratulations for Engbert and also to Marcel for beeing nominated.

A special thanks to all the students who signed in and mentioned their favourite docent, dont forget our Dr. Bucky Lab in the next semester, when the race is on, again !

Here a nice video of these two dedicated men, working close to each other in judging student projects.


Thursday, July 4, 2013


by Davoud Sultani

Conductive thread is a thread that conducts electricity. Conductive threads are a cross between the world of electric wires and the world of textiles, with attributes of each. Historically conductive thread in a more general definition have played a role in innovation, dating back to the use of a carbonized sewing thread used as a filament in Thomas Edison's light bulb. Of the hundreds he tried, this was the first filament that met his needs for resistance and lifespan.

Nowadays conductive thread consist of two major groups:
A. Intrinsically conductive threads made out of conductive fibers which are conductive by the very physical and chemical nature of the basic fiber. Included in this group are metallic wire, graphite fibers, intrinsically conductive polymer fibers and carbon nanotubes. The most commercially available member of this group are
those made from stainless steel fibers which offers a very low electrical resistance (in the range of a few Ωs per meter). In general this sort of conductive thread is too delicate to run through a needle of a consumer sewing machines and it should be wind onto a bobbin or couch onto the project.

B. Nonconductive
or less conductive core, which are then either coated or embedded with an electrically conductive element, often carbon, nickel, copper, gold, silver, or titanium. These core threads typically include cotton, polyester, nylon. This sort can generally be used in a normal sewing machine. Their resistance varies greatly based upon the metal used in the coating (silver being the most common choice) and the thickness of the coating layer.
Conductive thread is normally not insulated and comes in different coatings and/or number of plies. It can be used similarly to wire to allow a path for current to flow although it is not an efficient alternative for wiring or traces on a printed circuit boards but it is efficient enough to cover a wide range of applications.

Conductive thread is used in many industries, including military, aerospace, aviation,medical, textile,  transportation. Uses for conductive thread and textiles may include static dissipation, electromagnetic shielding, intelligent textiles, wearable technology, signal, power and data transfer in low resistance versions, and as a heating element in higher resistance versions. Their benefits over solid or stranded metal wires come from conductive thread's flexibility, low weight with high strength, extreme durability in some cases, and the ability to use them in existing textile and wire machinery (weaving, sewing, braiding, twisting, stranding, etc.) Some conductive threads have high temperature durability and can be soldered like solid wire. Some of the applications of conductive thread in day to day life are in fencing lamés (jacket for detecting hits), heating purposes in special heating wetsuits, smartphone and tablet friendly gloves and clothing with embedded electronics (i.e. T-shirts with glowing logos and biker jackets with LED signs in their back).

One of the most common uses of conductive thread in the scientific and industrial scenes
is for making anti static garment, carpets and other items that dissipate static electricity
(i.e. protective clothing for use in the manufacturing of electrostatic sensitive devices).
Another more recent use is in the production of 'Stun gun' or Taser proof clothing, where
the conductive thread is used as a sort of Faraday shield in a layer of the garment in
question. This application of conductive thread can come quite handy for the anarchist
activists amongst us.
There’s a washable arduino called Lilypad Arduino specifically developed for the purpose
of using with conductive thread for DIY projects.

The durability of conductive threads varies greatly amongst the many different kinds of it
that are available for public to purchase. In general type A conductive threads are harder to
use but more durable.
Depending on its material and its application there are different instructions on how to
wash a fabric with conductive threads used in it. In general to protect the coating layer it is
advised to hand wash with a mild detergent in a water not warmer than 40 degrees celsius.
For instance in case of silver coated threads, there’s consensus that the coating tends to
start wearing off after a few times of washing, resulting in higher overall resistance in the
circuit. It is advised to place the main elements as close as possible reducing the effect of the higher resistance. One can also coat the thread with silver polish upon noticing
remarkable resistance hikes.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


And here they are: The project poster of this semester !

We will also place them in our archive in the projects site within the next weeks we will also place some more details of each of the projects and will also publish more How it works articles, our students prepared within this semster.

So stay tuned, we will continue to write about the course over the summer.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


having the best supporters in the world...when you have to adjust powertools you need every now and then a hand tool to do the job, and we are always searching for the right one to to the job. Now our supporter Wiha was so gentle to send us a set of screwdrivers to put in each of our systainers to complete the box.
Now with one grip into our bucky lab flighcases taking a systainer you are all good to go, knowing that everything is in the box that you might need.
And for our convenience we got their ESD version, which is normally used for antistatic purposes in laboratories and clean rooms, but in our case the nice yellow handle will indicate directly that this tool belongs into a systainer ...so yellow in the box black in the drawer, due to the fact that we already have a complete set of Wihas soft finish screwdrivers.
Thanks to Wiha, for their support !

Monday, July 1, 2013


After one semester of hard work, the students of the Bucky Lab had their final presentations today. In total the 19 students presented 9 projects they developed within the semester.

After a short intro from Dr. Bucky Lab, Martin Straver from Romazo mentioned the importance of solar shading as a contribution of a sustainable design of a building. Peter Winter from ES-SO mentioned that we need efficient but also sexy solution that prevent overheating and therefore are able to control solar gains in winter but also an effective shading in the summer.

The short presentations of the students went smoothly and all guests were listening to their exciting storys.

At the end of the event the mobile bar of the bouwpub served a cold beer and a tasty snack. The endless discussions next to the prototypes indicated that this event was again a big success.

We would like to thank Romazo for the support ! It was again a blast and all the positive feedback we got, showed us that we are doing a good job !

Here some impressions of the day.