DIY Electronic Paper: One of the Best Science Fair Projects
By Nirman Dave
What is Electronic Paper?
I was sitting with my younger brother trying to explain to him what conductivity is, why resistance increases as length increases but decreases with an increase in area and all the stuff.
Boiling down everything to equations can be quite boring, but I was able to help him with this simple concept of CircuiTricks. This hack will allow beginners in the world of electronics to understand the basic concepts behind conductivity and resistance. It is also considered to be one of the best science fair projects.
Using this simple tutorial, you will be able to make amazing circuits on paper and understand the basic concepts of conductivity and resistance! You just need a pencil, a paper, some batteries, and an LED to get going. You can make electronic paper greeting cards and paper musical instruments within 20 minutes after this tutorial!
What Do You Need to Make Circuits on Paper?
- 9B pencil.
- Button cell battery.
How Does it Work?
As the grade of pencil increases, the proportion of graphite also increases. Graphite is a good conductor of electricity and hence, 9B grade pencil and the traces made using it act as a conductor.
Follow these simple instructions (follow the diagrams below or check out the video at the bottom):
- Draw out two thick lines with a 9B pencil.
- Place one or two button cells as shown in the figure and fold the page in a way that cells lie between two lines.
- You can make an LED block by pasting copper tapes at the bottom of the block. You can also place a simple LED.
- You will notice that the LED glows when you put its appropriate terminals on the two thick lines made using the pencil.
If you couldn’t understand the steps, check out this video showing you how it’s done:
Make Your Own Electronic Paper Greeting Card
You can excite a friend by making an electronic greeting card using paper. Think of all the creative stuff you can build with it. You can use colorful LEDs to make a huge banner saying “Happy Birthday!”, or use a musical buzzer which plays when you open the card or press something!
- A paper card.
- 9B pencil.
- Button cells.
- U clips.
Follow these steps to make your own electronic paper:
- Draw out any shape you would like, leaving gaps at two places: one for the LED and one for the button cells.
- The cutting should be such that you can fold the paper where you will keep your button cells.
- Place the button cells, fold the paper, and fix it by U clips.
- Paste the LED block (you can use a simple LED too) to fix it easily on the paper.
Make an Electronic Paper Guitar that Works!
Have you seen an electronic paper guitar before? Unleash your imagination and think of making cool instruments just like a guitar using simple stuff like batteries and buzzers quickly and cheaply!
- 9V battery
- 9B pencil
- Crocodile pins
- Copper tape.
Check out the pictures above. We connected the +ve end of the battery to the shaded part with the help of copper tape. -ve of battery and buzzer were joined together, while +ve of the buzzer was joined with one end of the crocodile wire. When you touch the other end with the shaded area, you get sounds based on the intensity.
You will notice that the sound varies depending on the area where you are touching the pins. This simple concept proves that the conductivity may change with respect to the length of the source and area, which thereby changes the sound intensity. So get cracking with this DIY electronic paper guitar!
Win a CircuiTricks Kit or a T-shirt
If you have a cool idea on simple stuff you could build with a pencil and electronic blocks, write to us at: [email protected] and you could get a free kit or a cool CircuiTricks T-shirt. To know what ciruitricks is all about, visit www.circuitricks.com. We would love to hear from you!
An 18 year old innovator, software programmer, explorer, speaker, and geek. With over 200 different software and hardware projects to my credit (including my own programming language), I also speak at different events and love to inspire others with the work I have done. Visit: www.nirmandave.com