Cirquids can be used in various ways: they can be transformed into an touch-sensitive area or connect implemented electronics, that has been plugged into the paper. The following blog entries will demonstrate different papiercircuits. In general I successfully applied following electronic devices into the paper, using different methodes of connection the paper cirquids to these electronics:
- resistors & photoresistor
- Arduino Uno board
- Attiny85 Microprocessor
- shape memory alloy
If the cable connection between the paper circuit board and the attached electronics should be more hidden the paper can be combined with a clipboard-like device can be used. This makes it possible to change the circuit shapes easily by changing the clipped in paper – the connected electronic will stay at it’s previous position. The clipboard-like device also compensates the possibility of losing a connection between the electronic and the paper-circuit in case a rather thin kind of paper has been used.
Lamination for protection
To increase the stability, hinder the saltwater to spread onto other surfaces and to prevent the Cirquids from external damage the sheet of paper can be laminated. By doing so the absorbed liquid within the paper will be shield from the process of vaporizing – thus causing the Cirquid to show a longer lifespan in terms of being conductive and thus aktive as an existent as a circuit.
By using daily tools like a pin or a scissors various rather intuitive interaction with the printed circuit boards can be created. Single conductive traces can be easily connected with pins to create a temporary flow of electricity through the conductive paper paths. Also, a scissor can be used to manipulate or damage the paper circuits.
Common paper-elements like stapler braces, paperclips or pins can be used to create an interaction with a strong already familiar interaction with a sheet of paper. Using a turning paper pin for example can create a playful replacement of a conventional on- and off turn knob and communicate the mixture of paper and electronics in the created device.
Bending one LED-Pin around a stapler brace that is stuck into the paper or soldering a SMD LED pin directly to the stapler brace can be another way of connecting electronics to the paper. By connection the voltage to the stapled sheet of paper and bending the unattached pin of the LED upwards flowing of current through the wet paper can be established, if another sheet of paper, that is connected to the ground of the energy source, comes in contact with the bended pin.
For preventing unwanted contact between two layers of paper that are connected to different current pols a non-conductive layer can be applied. For example by using a layer of transparent tape or by laminiating and thus seperationg both paper layers with foil.
If a SMD LED is attached to a laminiated Cirquid with oneof it’s wires, it can be connected to another paper Cirquid by simply placing it’s oposite pin directly on top of the Cirquids surface. By laminating the two layers of paper again, the SMD LEDs pin is pressed against the cirquid path and the connection is stabalized and protected from externam damage.
An easier method to implement LEDs is to use bigger LEDs, that can be plugged into the Cirquids directly. Compared with other methods to build customiezed circuits boards for a LED Matrix, this method offers an easier way, as explained in one of the following posts.
For comparism a solded 4×4 LED Matrix PCB (back and front side). Image taken and edited from: http://www.appelsiini.net/2011/how-does-led-matrix-work.
Reducing the needed Contact points
The proper choice of electronic has to be considered during the manufactoring process as well. While using an Attiny85 microprocessor the number of needed connection points varies, according to the purpose of the printed Cirqzud. In this example I tried to reduce this number by replacing the LED with another kind of LEDs. The picture shows the reduction from 9 to only 4 needed connection points between the paper and all added electronics.
It would be interesting to combine printed lightsources (e.g. an OLED or electro luminiszens panel) into a cirquid board. Unfortunatly I couldn’t run some tests with such materials, as my time during the bachelor thesis was limited.