Soft Circuits: LED Feelings Pizza
Contributors: Chelsea the Destroyer
Love is sort of an unavoidable human condition, be it love for a person or a delicious snack. So here – whether you give it to someone you love more than pizza, or keep it for yourself as a symbol of your own undying love for pizza – are my detailed instructions on how to make your own slice of LED-riddled, felt Feelings Pizza. Is it silly? Yes. Does it serve a purpose? Other than amusement, not especially. So why are we doing this? We are doing this because it’s better than watching Rock of Love re-runs, and why not.
When I started at SparkFun I was coming from a career in print, so in my interview when they asked if I had any experience working with electronics, I think my response was, “I have a few.” Luckily, SparkFun sees electronics inexperience as an opportunity instead of a drawback, and now here I am, carrying the banner. And while the learning curve has been steep (I’m still not sure what this microcontroller I soldered together is for), I can say that I’ve been able to experience firsthand the addictive “a-ha!” moment our education department was founded to foster in other beginners like me.
In my experience thus far, e-textiles gets a bit of a bad rap for its ease of use and lack of any kind of coding or soldering requirements. Well I’m here to tell you that e-textiles are people too, and getting the hang of a sewn circuit is no less exciting than coding a GPS tracker. The first time I got it right, I accidentally flipped over a table of eggnog glasses in my excitement, which a) had almost nothing to do with the eggnog I was consuming at the time and b) did not make me popular among the partygoers, but diminished my insufferable sense of self-accomplishment no less. So, dear beginners, I’m here to share that moment with you, sans eggnog (company policy).
As a side bonus, this is also a good project to introduce kids to electronics, as the supplies are inexpensive, the electronic components are simple and the danger level is low.
If you’d like to start from square one, here are a couple tutorials that cover some of the basic concepts we’ll be using to build our dream pizza: