A paper button is an interactive element for alternative interfaces with gadgets or computers.
It is like a light switch but than in a environmental friendly material like paper. Paper can be folded, shaped and with a bit of imagination you can create the most wonderful unexpected and hilarious buttons.
See also the instructable soft buttons, for the textile version of this button.
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E-Paper professional examples urls:
Nice example of patterns and drawing
Great example of folding, design, and sound.
Playing Fold Loud involves folding origami shapes to create soothing harmonic vocal sounds. Opened circuits made out of conductive fabric are visibly stitched onto the sheets of paper which creates a meta-technological aesthetic. When the sheets are folded along crease lines, a circuit is closed like a switch. Thus, the interface guides participants to use repetitive delicate hand gestures such as flipping, pushing and creasing.
Nice examples and inspiration on folding, scratching, crunching, cutting paper techniques.
Graffiti light roller
Interactive paper cd cover
Nice example of technical aesthetics
Leah Buechley - electronics and paper
Conductive ink on the body
This instructable is part of the Crosslab courses at the wdka.nl
Step 1: Tools
Aluminum foil (or other conductive materials)
Step 2: Make the Button
Cut out a piece of aluminum foil.
Take a wire and remove the isolation plastic, so that about 1-3 cm of the copper wire is visible.
Put the copper part on the aluminum foil and apply the duck tape.
The duct tape reinforces the aluminum foil. (you can glue the aluminum directly on the paper, but it can be damaged quickly)
Now you have one side of the button.
Make another one exactly like the first.
This duct tape - aluminum can be cut into nice shapes, it will be part of your design.
Step 3: Finish the Button
These two sides of the button can be glued upon paper. And when you fold the paper the aluminum surfaces are brought togetherand touch, you have the contact of your button action.
It is as simple as that.
The paper can be folded in different ways, the paper can even be removed (we had students putting the aluminum on there noses and they made the button touching their noses!
The image shows the layers. You can use a foam shape in between layers if you don't want to fold (for this see also the soft button instructable we made.)
Step 4: Ideas and Variations
Paper is delightful material to work with. Cutting folding is so easy!
Here some ideas which were used by students doing the e-paper course with Corsslab at the wdka.nl:
Make a tunnel of paper, the inside of which is made of aluminum foil (wire attached).
Slide another piece of paper, with glued on it also a piece of aluminum foil through this tunnel. When the aluminum pieces touch, you have your contact.
Prepare two elongated pieces of paper with aluminum, the paper being a bit stiff.
Elongated paper, with aluminum in the middle.
Make one of the pieces longer than the other.
Tag of glue the end points together.
Because one piece is longer than the other, it will bulge out.
Pressing on the bulge will get your trigger action.
In the images you see the principle, use paper with a bit of stiffness but not too much, this button won't last a lifetime of course, but you can do a nice project with it. Make it elongated and you have your piano key.....
Step 5: What to Do With the Button?
Designing and making is one thing, giving the button a purpose is the next:
What is triggered?
You could trigger gadgets, connecting the existing button in the gadget with the two wires of your button. Folding the paper will play music, or make a fancy LED light up.
We use hacked keyboards to connect to the computer. The button is like one of the keys on the keyboard, for example the "a". This a is caught with a running FLASH movie, and a FLASH movie can be programmed to do almost anything: play a sound, show an image, start a video.
We also use boxes, making them into 3D paper buttons, books, we even had a class with e-paper Origami!