Introduction: 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:
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

  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

  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

  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!
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