Introduction: Mystical Geometric Slab

The purpose of this project is to create an artefact for the purposes of controlling a sensory environment. It’s a wooden slab, laser etched, with a copper overlay in a geometric pattern that functions as a touch circuit.

you'll need

A wooden slab

Conductive paint

Conductive thread

A makey makey

Access to a laser engraver

Step 1: Laser Engrave Your Wood With a Circuit Design

Step 2: Cover the Surface in Conductive Paint

Ensure an even coat that fills in the engraving completely

Step 3: Sand Off the Wood

Use a sander to sand off the top layer of the design. This will leave conductive paint only in the indents of the engraving. Be sure to remove the top layer fully or else it will allow the signals to short.

Step 4: Drill Small Holes in the Circuit

In order to create a seamless connection we will drill small holes in the top in order to use conductive thread to run the signals underneath the board. Us the smallest drill bit you have available.

Step 5: Use a Needle to Pull the Conductive Thread Through to the Back of the Board

Cut the thread on the top side, then use some wood putty to fill in the hole and touch up with conductive tape, being sure to coat the end of the thread.

Following this process the top side may be lightly sanded and varnished.

Step 6: Connect the Threads on the Back of the Board to a Makey Makey

Be sure to connect the grounds together, and ten run each signal line in to a keyboard instance.

Step 7: Connect Your Makey Makey to a Visual Output

In this case the slab is connected to a custom written application to generate mandala like geometric patterns based upon the touch inputs.

The source code can be found here