Introduction: Fun Circuits With Conductive Paint

Picture of Fun Circuits With Conductive Paint
This instructable will show you how to make simple fun electronic circuits. However my objective here is mostly to demonstrate how kids can have fun making and learning about electronics at the same time.

I will be using a new product from a company called Bare Conductive that have recently released conductive paint that dries and forms circuits. The potential of this product is huge as you can use it on paper, card, clothing etc.

Card is the easiest material to use because you can push components through.

Suitable designs will need to incorporate LEDs or other components depending how complex you want to made your designs. You can add 2 or 3 coin/button batteries to power you circuits.
 
The Bare Conductive paint dries solid so it can be used to glue parts in place. I've chosen the simplest circuit for this but I will hopefully be putting other instructables here as well.

Here are a few circuit ideas to help you out:
  • LED with cardboard switch
  • multiple LEDs with cardboard switch
  • LEDs with resistors and switch
  • Series LEDs
  • Parallel LEDs
  • Buzzer with a switch



Materials and tools:
Scissors
Cardboard
Flashing/still LEDs
resistors (optional)
Conductive paint
3v coin/button batteries and holders
Colouring pencils or other decorative materials to decorate your design

Step 1: Add Power Source

Picture of Add Power Source
  1. Squeeze a line of the conductive paint onto the card.
     
  2. Place the coin/button battery partially onto the paint to stick. I've placed the battery upside down so that paint does not contact both terminals.

Step 2: Create the Switch

Picture of Create the Switch
  1. Take a small length of card and bend it to make a sprung switch.
     
  2. Now squeeze a line of paint onto the underneath. Add a little extra to the area that will stick down on to the card.
     
  3. Make sure when you stick it down that the switch is over the battery and that some of the paint seeps out from between the two pieces of card so that you can continue the circuit.

Step 3: Complete the Circuit

Picture of Complete the Circuit
  1. Paint on the rest of the circuit with the conductive paint and connect to an LED. Make sure you have the LED the correct way round. Test this directly on the battery. Once the paint is dry it will be difficult to reverse.
     
  2. Leave to dry. It should be touch dry in about an hour but may still be soft.
     
  3. Once dry test your circuit by using the switch.
     
  4. Oh and don't forget you can colour and decorate you designs to give them that extra oomph!

Comments

brookspaul1065 (author)2013-10-29

Can the paint be purchased in the U.S.?

Paulbacca (author)brookspaul10652013-10-30

I don't think it is available in the US but from looking at their shipping costs it is not expensive to deliver to the US. The electric paint pens are 100ml not 10ml like it lists on their website. They are quite small so even if you got 6 pens you might only pay $12 shipping. They launched a kickstarter project yesterday and the £10 pledge is an electric paint goody bag with only £3 shipping.

ThatCatMan (author)Paulbacca2013-11-20

Yes, it is available in US. You can get it at RadioShack, Sparkfun.com, and the other places. At RadioShack, they are very cheap. On sparkfun.com, you can also find small containers with more in them.

Thanks That.. I'll look at RS online

No problem.

dan.berry (author)2013-11-04

I think it would be a better idea to cover the conductive paint where it lays across the edge of the button battery (where the card bend is), so there's less chance of shorting. You could do that by folding the card in half with conductive paint sandwiched between, cutting exposed areas on both ends that can still make contact with the circuit paper and the middle of the battery.

Paulbacca (author)dan.berry2013-11-12

I agree that I need to be careful of shorting. There are lots of way to prevent this. I'm waiting to what other people come up with.

audreyobscura (author)2013-10-29

That paint is so neat!

Paulbacca (author)audreyobscura2013-10-29

Yes it is! This is one of the many possibilities. I think that this would be amazing for soft electronics and electronics in unusual shaped objects.

RikJamez (author)Paulbacca2013-10-31

That Product Looks So Useful. I Have so Many Ideas !
THANX ...

Paulbacca (author)RikJamez2013-11-01

That's great. I hope to see your projects here soon.

johnbee70 (author)2013-10-31

Way to go, man! Already thinking about adding lights to my saddle bags and extending the visibility of my Bike ! ha,ha! After all, you don't necessarily need to be at "ground zero" to glow in the dark! ha,ha! Happy Halloweeeeen !

system320 (author)2013-10-30

is this paint available at kerala

Paulbacca (author)system3202013-10-30

I had to Google kerala! I doubt you can get this in India however If you read what I said to brookspaul1065 you should be able to purchase from the Bare Conductive website. You could also get some through the Kickstarter project.

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