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Soft Circuit Button Switch

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I have made and posted a few soft circuit projects but I have often found it difficult to get some of the components needed since there are no stores (that I know of) nearby and shipping to Canada can be overly expensive.  So I try to make do.  One problem I've had was finding something to use as an on/off switch. I've improvised by using switches from  LED tealights which are a bit obtrusive in a soft circuit.  I've also made some momentary switches ( is that the right term?), which are a bit annoying since the circuit only stays on as long as you press the switch. 

So in this instructable I made a switch that stays on without having to keep pressing on it as well as have it look inconspicuous in a soft circuit project. As a bonus it not only turns a circuit on and off it can toggle more than one circuit. In the sample circuit I made to demonstrate you can switch between three LEDs.

 

 
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Step 1: What you will need

Button: You can use a regular flat sew through button (the ones with the holes through the button).  If you want to toggle between more than one circuit use a large one (the one that I used has a diameter of 3.5cm).  You can use smaller ones for a simple on/off switch.  You can try using a metal button which would save you having to attach conductive material.  You can just cover part of the bottom of the button with fabric or tape.  The only metal button I had was a shank button, I suppose this type of button can work too.

Thread: You will need some thick thread since the button will likely get a lot of wear and tear. I used embroidery thread.

Conductive Material:  You basically need something that you can attach to the bottom of the button to make contact with the conductive thread of the circuit. You have several options here:
  • Conductive fabric: You would just need a small piece of conductive fabric and glue it to the button.
  • Conductive thread: You can wind a bit of thread up into a bundle and glue to the button.  I often have little scraps of thread left over from  projects that I can use for this.
  • Copper tape/ conductive tape:
  • Conductive paint:  You can buy it or make your own.
Possibly:
  • Metal: perhaps a small thin piece that you can glue to the button
  • Wire:  I recently saw icecats' instructable on how to make conductive tape using wires, perhaps this can be adapted for the button switch.
nodoubtman1 year ago
sooo cute! :)
ChrysN (author)  nodoubtman1 year ago
Thanks!
so creative.
ChrysN (author)  susanchen20111 year ago
Thanks!
sunshiine1 year ago
This is so cute! Sure to snag the book!
Sunshiine
Love it - lots of good information at the end. :D
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