All credits go to the people over at the squishy circuits website.
I was on hackaday earlier this year and I found an article on squishy circuits. I thought making circuits from play dough sounded like a very interesting idea. I did some research into it and it seemed simple enough; different ingredients created different values of resistance and so on. I thought about it, and decided that I had to make some for myself. I threw some together and it worked great! In this instructable I will provide the recipe for conductive dough, insulating dough, as well as some ideas for circuits you can build out of it. I think this has enormous potential in a classroom setting, being able to teach students how circuits work, something that I didn't even understand until about three years ago. I can just imagine a whole class of students showing off their creations that glow, and make cool noises.
Step 1: Conductive Dough
In order to make the conductive dough, you will need the following:
1 cup Water
1 1/2 cups Flour
1/4 cup Salt
3 Tbsp. Cream of Tartar*
1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
*9 Tbsp. of Lemon Juice may be Substituted
Mix water, 1cup of flour, salt, cream of tartar, vegetable oil, and food coloring in a medium sized pot.
Cook over medium heat and stir continuously.
The mixture will begin to boil and start to get chunky.
Keep stirring the mixture until it forms a ball in the center of the pot.
Once a ball forms, place the ball on a lightly floured surface.
Slowly knead the remaining flour into the ball until you’ve reached a desired consistency.
Step 2: Insulating Dough
In order to make the insulating dough, you will need the following:
1 1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
3 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Water
Mix solid ingredients and oil in a pot or large bowl, setting aside ½ cup flour to be used later.
Mix with this mixture a small amount of water (about 1 Tbsp.) and stir.
Repeat this step until a majority of the water is absorbed by the mixture.
Once your mixture is at this consistency, knead the mixture into one “lump”.
Knead more water into the dough until it has a sticky, dough-like texture.
Now, knead the flour into the dough, until a desired texture is reached.
Step 3: Circuit Ideas
Some provided on the website are: building a circuit with lights, using the conductive dough as a variable resistor, connecting buzzers, motors, LED's, basically anything that could use this to replace wire. I will be posting more instructables soon on projects involving the play dough. If you prefer to have the electronics in a kit, check the squishy circuits store. Please rate, vote, subscribe, and leave comments!
EDIT: I will give a pro account to whoever comes up with the best idea to use this play dough for, so leave a comment and you can win a free pro membership!