This has gotten to be a bit of an obsession over the past few days. Using paint to create electric circuits.
Seriously, it is all I can think about. I am making a lot of “this sweater is OK, but it would be awesomer with some LED light bulbs” statements that make my children hover between interest and a deep tween embarrassment that only mothers can induce.
It started with a CNN article on Pens that can be used to draw circuits. I know, great idea.
Except they are from the UK, and kind of pricey (12 pounds which is about $18 today). And according to my sources on twitter the conductivity isn’t great once it is dried over long distances. That said the site has some nice classroom kits that include thumbtack batteries. There has been a hollow empty void in my life that is filled now that I know thumbtack batteries exist – you know what I mean?
Also according to the website these pens are available in Radio Shack, so good for those of us stateside.
|Think Geek Conductive Paint
For about $30 you can get a 50ml tub of paint from Think Geek. I have visions of renumbering the computers in my lab using this …possibilities are endless.
This appears to be the same company, so it is probably the same stuff that is in the pens, but it is a better price point for just the paint.
I also found a video describing how to make copper based conductive paint. Sounds fun, but given my overall free time…I might just head to Radio Shack.
MIT also has some resources listed:
One of the main reasons I am interested is the application for wearable electronics. I am curious to see if the paint can be used to attach conductive thread to the power source. I’ll let you all know if it works.
Need more inspiration? Here is a video of interactive wallpaper made with conductive paint. It plays music.
We do some very simple circuits and logic gates in the APCS Principles class suing play-doh. The play-doh works well because it can be changed and experimented with very easily, but the stuff dries out so nothing can be taken home. This paint would make a nice extension, especially if they can make something to take home. Prototype in play-doh then paint for permanent.
Created by Rebecca Dovi