problem of adapting common shapes

Shaping new electronics

While the Formsprache of an electronic element is mainly dominated by mechanical and physical principles for the regulating a current flow within the circuits, the technology of printing circuits onto flexible and bendable surfaces opens up advanced possibilities and new varieties. If you look at some paper-based circuit tutorials on the internet, you will find built paper-based electronics that basically adapted the common principles and forms of an electroincal element such as a button or potentiometer.

But when designing  flexible electronical device adapting the shape of an electronic element is not necessarily a wise design dicision to make. The following example will illustrating this problem

A metal- and plastic-based sliding potentiometer for examples has it’s given form due to the accurring current change when it’s contacting wiper’s position changes.(more details)


Of course it is possible to build a paper-based potentiometer, that adapts this principal.

But while the common sliding-potentiometer takes advantage of the metal-based sliding-element’s sliding motion to regulate the current flow, the produces friction between the potentiometers elements does not cause any damage to the potentiometer.  The paper-based version on the other hand shows a clear lack of efficiency, as the swiping mechanism is permanently damaging the paper’s structure.


The following post will show a more appropriate way to built a paper-based potentiometer that uses the quality of paper as a material and the liquid-status of a Cirquid.

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