Gel-Ink Pen Lets You Draw Your Own Circuits

07.01.11 6 years ago

Gel-ink pens aren’t just for drawing In lab testing using paper as the flexible surface, they had to bend the paper back and forth about 6,000 times before the dried silver ink flaked and cracked too much to carry a current.

To demonstrate their pen-and-paper approach, the researchers drew a copy of a Chinese landscape painting with the pen and affixed an LED to the peak of a house’s roof. Once the silver lines were connected to a battery at the edge of the page, the LED lit up. And by drawing interconnections between LEDs arranged in a grid on a sheet of paper and hooking them up to a battery, they created several glowing block letters. They even built a 3D antenna by drawing lines on a piece of sticky-backed printer paper that they folded around a glass ball. [DiscoBlog]

I’m almost certain pens like this have been made before, although I’ve never heard of them being used with LEDs or to make antennas. Another great application for these pens?  Fixing important electronics on the fly when the primates rise and take up arms against us.  Oh, it’ll happen. Don’t believe me?  Well then how do you explain this?


[Sources: DiscoBlog, Wired, NewScientist, RoboShark]

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