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Circuit Paper Electronics

We all have learnt drawing circuits in schools, classes, physics lab and at many more places. We all experienced basic electronics concepts in school, colleges like what is conductivity, why resistance increases with increase in length, decreases with increase in area and all the stuff. 

Boiling down everything to equations can be quite boring. But all these concepts can be easily helpful through simple concept of Circuit Paper Electronics.

This hack will allow beginner’s in the world of electronics to understand the basic concepts behind conductivity and resistance .But those are just drawings; we have to make an actual circuit in order to make it work!

But what if circuit drawing started to work as they are. While others call it a blind of magic and science like something magic pen or pencil as we all seen in our childhood TV series Shaka laka boom boom. We call it Circuit Paper Pen!


What is Circuit Pen?

Circuit Paper Pen is a rollerball pen that writes with conductive silver ink. It makes creating circuits as easy as doodling. Circuit Pen was made for project based learning.  Kids can build circuits and switches in their notebooks and use those concepts to get creative!

It made easier for Makers to Make. Don’t wire a circuit— doodle it

No shaking, no squeezing, no goop, no smell, no waiting for ink to dry. Circuit Pen draws smooth lines with conductive silver ink and allows you to create functioning circuits instantly.


Different methods to make circuit on paper

There are many methods to make circuit on paper working. It is simply known as Circuit Paper Electronics. Users can use a Circuit pen to draw lines on a simple piece of paper. They can then attach special electrical components on the drawn lines which allows the electrical currents to run through the components.

This replaces the use of breadboards and wires.

Breadboards add a level of abstraction and annoyance to circuit building.  With Circuit Pen you can draw exactly what you want, no wires or breadboard required.

There are three methods to draw circuit on paper and they are as follows:

  1. Conductive Ink Pen
  2. Circuit stickers
  3. Pencil

Let see all methods in brief and draw out circuits with endless possibilities.


1. Circuit Scribe Pen

Circuit Scribe Pen is a ball-point pen containing silver conductive ink that can be used to draw circuits instantly on flexible substrates like paper.

A. About Ink

The ink is created by placing an aqueous solution of silver nitrate into a flask of water combined with polyacrylic acid (PAA) and diethanolamine (DEA), the capping agent and reducing agent, respectively. After about twenty hours, the silver nitrate is dissolved, forming particles with a diameter of about 5 nanometers.

 

Once the ink is created, a roller ball pen is dismantled and cleaned so that the ink can be placed inside using a flat tip spatula. After replacing the roller ball tip, a couple blasts of compressed air is shot from the back end to force the ink into the tip. The outer cover of the pen is placed back on and the prototype of the Circuit Scribe Pen is created.

B. Modules used in Circuit Paper Scribe Pen

Circuit Scribe can be used to draw circuits that connect different types of modules, or individual components, such as:

Power

  • USB Power Adapter: Allows user to power the drawn circuits with either a USB port or a wall outlet.
  • 9V Battery Adapter: Supplies a nine-volt power to the circuits.

Connect

  • 2-Pin Adapter: Allows user to connect resistors, capacitors, or sensors to circuits.
  • NPN Transistor: An electrical amplifier that converts small signals into large currents.
  • Blinker: Blinks output components on and off at adjustable rates.
  • DIY Boards: Allows user to solder 2, 4, 6, or 8 pin components to the board.
  • Connector Cables: Connects the paper circuit to DIY hardware platform.

Input

  • SPST Switch: An on/off switch that allows users to control the electrical circuit.
  • DPDT Switch: Two switches that direct the flow of current through the circuit.
  • Light Sensor: Shines light on the phototransistor to control an output.
  • Potentiometer 10k Ohm: A knob that controls the dimness, volume, and speed of circuit.

Output

  • Bi-LED: Two LEDs in one that can flip directions to change the color.
  • Buzzer: Vibrates in response to the voltage.
  • Motor: Rotates with an applied voltage.
  • RGB LED: A red, blue, and green LED.

2. Circuit Sticker

WHAT ARE CIRCUIT STICKERS?

Circuit Stickers are a creative, fun, and versatile way to learn beginner electronics!  With vibrant, reusable LED stickers, you can create a circuit with any conductive material, like graphite, Bare Conductive paints, conductive thread or fabric, or even tinfoil!

They are a new medium for making electronics. These thin, lightweight, flexible and sticky circuit boards allow us to craft electronic interactivity onto new spaces and interfaces such as books, clothing, walls, and even our bodies!

Light up your life by creating artwork, making flashy clothing, or a twinkly mural on your bedroom wall.

WHAT CAN I MAKE WITH CIRCUIT STICKERS?

Circuit stickers are light, paper-thin and flexible circuit boards cut into small, fun shapes with anisotropic conductive adhesive on the back. The adhesive sticks to most surfaces and can be used with virtually any conductive materials as “wiring”– such as conductive threads and paints or even wires and aluminum foil from your kitchen.

If you run out of copper tape, you can get more at your local hardware store in the gardening section– it’s normally used to keep snails and slugs out of the garden!

WHAT IF I’VE NEVER MADE A CIRCUIT BEFORE?

No worries! We can use the Circuit Sticker Sketchbook, a guidebook that will walk you through making basic LED circuits, DIY paper switches and a pressure sensor. You can complete the circuits right on the pages of the book– like a coloring book except now you’re coloring with electronics. When you’re done, you will have an interactive sketchbook of functioning circuits!

Anyone who wants to start building interactive projects! We’ve run workshops all over the world and gotten very positive responses from designers, artists, engineers, kids, students, and teachers. Now we’re excited to bring them to you, and see what you can make with them!

 


3. Circuit Pencil

Circuit using pencil, how?

We discussed circuit making using conductive ink pen and circuit sticker, but there is one more method i.e. using pencil. Inside your pencil is a black thing called Graphite. Which allow you to draw a line. Just like electric wires, this graphite line are good conductor of electricity.

Graphite circuits are a fun and potentially useful trick to create paper thin circuits that can power electronics, although they work best for LED’s, due to the low power consumption and inefficiency of the circuit.


Conclusion

These are three circuit making method with pen, stickers and pencil. Let’s conclude each three methods

Circuit scribe pen: This is the best method of all three to draw circuit on paper as it uses directly conductive ink.

Circuit sticker: In this method the main advantage is the sticker, you do not have to draw circuit just as per circuit diagram stick each module and connect with copper sticker. You can also use circuit pen to draw circuit and stick module.

The one more difference between circuit pen and circuit sticker is that module in circuit pen have magnets hence they get directly attach to conducting aluminum ink, while in circuit sticker we stick each module.

Circuit pencil: These is the simplest and cheapest methods to draw circuit but not efficient one. Circuit using pencil can easily be used to draw circuit by any one. But we have to make circuit line very dark otherwise circuit will not conduct.


A maker is someone who shares their work with the world. They post their projects online along with videos and pictures, so that other people would also get benefitted by it, just like how you were able to take advantage of this free information.

So why wait BE A MAKER, KEEP CALM AND DESIGN CIRCUIT 😉

Suraj Gehlot

Hi I’m Suraj Gehlot. I’m a maker passionate about writing content on Technology | Electronics | Education |Concepts | DIY on BlogTheorem.com

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