Paper circuits is one of the best way get started with basic electronics & experience the power of LED's. Paper circuit are basically flexible circuits that can be embedded anywhere.
Here, we would be learning on how to make an Paper circuit greeting card. We are using a birthday card template but you can use any other template.
Objective: To create a paper circuit that lights up an LED and is powered by a battery.
Skill : Beginner
- Paper circuit Template
- Aluminum foil tape
- Coin cell battery
- Foam sheet
- Scotch tape
Step 1: Separate Aluminum Tape
The aluminium tape has an adhesive at the back which is covered.
Separate the aluminum foil tape from the white backing paper.
Step 2: Sticking the Aluminium Tape
Begin sticking the aluminum tape to the circuit page at one of the circle battery locations. Stop just before a corner or LED location.
Step 3: Creating a Corner Turn
It is not recommended to give joints in the aluminium tape as the underlying adhesive might create conductivity issues. So, we will be creating a corner 90 degree bend without breaking it up.
To create a corner, first fold the aluminum tape the opposite direction of the turn. So if you are turning right, first fold the tape to the left (see first image above).
Next, fold the tape the direction of the turn (for example, to the right; see second image above).
Step 4: Start at the Other Battery Location
Begin sticking the aluminum tape to the circuit page at the other circle battery locations.
Stop just before a corner or LED location.
Step 5: Connect the Battery
Batteries have a positive and a negative side. Coin cell batteries are labelled with a plus (+) symbol on the positive side (see first image above).
Place the battery with the negative side down on the negative battery circle location. The positive side should face up.
Bend the aluminum tape with white adhesive sticker along the dashed line (-----)
Step 6: Adding the LED
Be sure to leave a gap between aluminum tape when adding an LED (Light Emitting Diode; see first image above). If the aluminum tape from one side of the battery touches the tape from the other side of the battery, it will short circuit and the circuit will not function.
LEDs have one longer "lead" wire and one shorter lead (see second image above). The longer lead is positive and the shorter is negative. Start by bending the wires out to each side (see third image above). Place the LED on top of the gap with the lead wires touching the aluminum tape above and below the gap (see fourth image above). If you press down on the leads with your fingers, you should see the LED light up. If it does not, try these troubleshooting ideas:
1. Make sure the battery's positive side is facing the positive path (labeled with "+") of the aluminum tape.
Try flipping the battery over to see if that lights the LED. Sometimes batteries lost their charge so try a different one just in case.
2. Smooth down the aluminum tape, especially corner turns and places you attached two pieces of tape together. You may want to use the edge of scissors or your fingernail to do this. The aluminum tape should be as flat as possible.
3. Try flipping the LED around so that the opposite lead is facing up. Be sure to hold down the leads firmly when testing your circuit. Sometimes LEDs go bad so try a different one just in case.
If the LED lights up, hold it in place and tape down both leads with clear scotch tape.
Step 7: The Completed Circuit
The completed circuit should turn on when you press on the battery location and it would be off when you don't press.
Make multiple glowing LED greeting card for all occasions.