Introduction: Creating Switches With AgIC

About: AgIC is named after Silver Ink Circuit (Ag is the chemical symbol of silver). We develop products to make electric circuits more accessible and catalyze fusion of technology with design and crafts.

Drawing circuits with AgIC marker is very simple, intuitive, and fun.

There are two types of switches: momentary and alternate. A momentary switch is a switch such that it is on only when you are making an action to the switch (e.g. pushing). An alternate switch is a switch such that it stays on even after you stop the action to make it on.

In this instructables, we are going to explore several ways to make switches.

  1. Folding (momentary)
  2. Push switch by bending a leg of the button cell (momentary)
  3. Bending a leg of the button cell + Post-it (alternate)
  4. Making slits in the paper (alternate)
  5. Slide switch to select a circuit (alternate)
  6. Push switch by utilizing the elasticity of paper (momentary)
  7. Alternate switch by utilizing the elasticity of paper (alternate)

Step 1: Folding (momentary)

The easiest way to make a switch with AgIC materials is fold paper as shown in the images. Make sure contact points (drawn as big circles in the images) to contact when folded. Also, make sure not to fold the paper too hard because it might cut the circuit at the folding point.

Step 2: Push Switch by Bending a Leg of the Button Cell (momentary)

The button cells we offer have two legs for easy installing (included in the Starter Kit). You can make a push switch by bending a leg of the button cell and fixing the other with something such as scotch tape. Since the leg is made of metal, it has elasticity that enables the switch to return to the original state after pushed.

Step 3: Bending a Leg of the Button Cell + Post-it (alternate)

Making momentary switches with paper is easy. But what about making alternate switches? It's harder than you think. The hardest point is to make it reusable.

Here is one idea. You know Post-it has adhesive that can be pasted and removed again and again. Why don't we use this as the adhesive to achieve making an alternate switch. By combining the Post-it and a leg of the button cell with some copper tape as shown in the first image, you can make an alternate switch.

Step 4: Making Slits in the Paper (alternate)

I am not sure if this can be called as a "switch", but this technique will enable you to replace button cells after it dies.

First, draw the circuit as usual, but leave a gap that fits the size of the button cell. Make the ends fat (maybe making circles is the easiest way). Next, make a slit for each end. Then, insert the legs of the button cell to the slits. The legs and the ends will contact well because of the elasticity of the paper, so the power will be supplied well.

Because this method is just inserting the legs into the slit and using no irreversible adhesive, you can easily replace the buttery if it dies.

Step 5: Slide Switch to Select a Circuit (alternate)

You might have several circuits and want to select one or some of them to be on and the others to be off. The switch shown in the images above is a slide switch made with paper. Paste copper tape to the slider, where will be the contact line. For the base circuit, leave gaps and attach copper tape to the ends of it. Because rubbing the lines drawn with AgIC each other would scrape off themselves, we need to attach copper tape where the slider will contact.

Step 6: Push Switch by Utilizing the Elasticity of Paper (momentary)

This push switch is very fun to push. Actually you can switch the circuit rapidly.

First, leave a narrow gap to the circuit and make the ends broad. Then make an arch like in the 4th image. This is composed of two pieces of paper. Make "M" with one of them, and paste the other on it to make the pushing point (to make a bridge to "M"). Attach copper tape to the bottom of "M". The elasticity of paper make this combined pieces of paper like a spring. Use scotch to fix the "M" on the paper that the circuit is drawn.

Step 7: Alternate Switch by Utilizing the Elasticity of Paper (alternate)

Maybe this is the promising way to create an alternate switch with just a piece of paper.

First, you need to make the point where you want to place the switch wide as shown in the first image. Fold paper as shown in the second image, and fill one part of this with AgIC marker as in the second image. Fix it to the base paper with the end that you did not paint as shown in the fourth image. Make sure the end with AgIC ink fit to where you made the circuit wide.

That's all. This switch is normally on, and you can turn it off by inserting a piece of paper. This switch pushes itself down to stick the surface filled with AgIC ink with the base circuit so they contact surely. Since the force of pushing down is fairly strong, even if you place the base paper (the one with circuit drawn) vertically, the piece of paper inserted as insulator will not fall!