Khushi Jetley – filming tutorial & process video(s)
Michael Sinn – circuit diagrams and testing
Alex Rojas – video editing
Octavian Gherghe – blog post and writing
The group decided that we wanted to orient the tutorial towards something simple that could be done without having to order anything expensive, or go out of your way to get materials. This was partially due to the pandemic making it harder to order materials, as well as not wanting to railroad students into a complicated project. With this in mind, we decided to do DIY style workshop focused on the Unusual Materials topic that Olivia suggested.
This workshop a short video on how to make simple and cheap conductive paint from home, that you can use to create unconventional circuits or to spice up your artwork.
Materials & Tools:
- Alligator clips / Conductive thread / Circuit wiring
- Paint (acrylic paint was used in our examples)
- Mixing bowl
- A medium to spread the paint on: paper, wood, etc
- Battery or CPX with a power cable (3V was used in the video)
Most of these materials should be available at home, but if you need to buy anything it will not be expensive or hard to get, they can be found in local stores or by online distribution. The only exotic item is the CPX if you decide to use it, but most of you will have this due to the course requisite.
- Pour some paint in a mixing bowl and add a generous amount of salt.
- Mix it until it reaches a thick oily like texture.
- Use the mixture as a conductive pathway in your circuit, and spread it however you like on your materials.
- Complete your circuit and test it to see if the paint works.
We used a basic circuit to test out the paint:
But the paint can be applied to a few other situations as well:
The result should leave you with a spreadable paste that can replace conductive thread or other methods you have been using for circuit creation. Though it might not be the most effective method, the group thought that it was a creative and interesting way to give students more freedom when it came to their projects. Not only can this be used in circuitry and wearables, it can be used in paintings or art installations for light shows or other electrical surprises.
Initially, we wanted to make the paint with graphite, but it was less reliable and not as conductive as the salt paint when it was tested. The goal of our tutorial was to create a quick DIY that everyone is able to create and use, and we think that we did that successfully.