If you’ve worked with electrical circuits, you can imagine this sort of scenario: A breadboard with wires criss-crossing all over it. Depending on the complexity of the circuit, or simply the neatness of the person assembling it – the whole assembly can be a very messy situation. I remember in one of my earlier engineering courses our Professor Told us that we’d better make sure we organize the wires on our breadboards so that they wouldn’t look like piled spaghetti. Otherwise, the next time he walked by he would run his fingers over the breadboard and basically undo all of our work. He was a pretty scary professor.
But scary professors isn’t what today’s Free Verse is about. This blog is about a set of products by Bare Conductive known as conductive paint.
The Why of Conductive Paint
Having conductive pain is a really neat idea. Pretty much all the electronics in your house form your Television to your Toaster is no doubt in the possession of wires in it’s structure. This isn’t just the wire that connects it to the electrical outlet mind you, there are actually all sorts of other electrical wires inside of them which facilitate communication between different parts. As mentioned with the previous story in the prelude, wiring can be a very messy business. if we didn’t have things such as Microchips around, then the equivalent in wires would take up huge amounts of space.
With conductive paint, you can simply draw out your circuit on a dry solid surface. It’s a very neat concept that certainly looks a lot more approachable in theory than the technical image of a student cutting wires and poking them into breadboards.
Though on the flipside, while paintable circuits are most certainly neat, I’d say that Paintable circuits as they are now sare still in the realm of ‘a new concept’. But not something that will completeley phase out wired circuits. Traditional wires don’t depend on good penmanship in order to keep things organized, and also keep the metal conductive pieces guarded with rubber. Painted circuits, on the other hand are basically exposed conductive material which can be dangerous if a bigger electrical current or voltage it put in it.
Still, I’d like to think that these new paintable circuits give people interested in playing around with circuits new tools to make us of. And it certainly look much more approachable on the surface than the breadboard and wires. It’s also an exiting new medium to compliment the artistic fields, where we’ve already seen this new product put into use.
Overall it’s still a relatively new idea – at the moment it’s definitely something that would be really awesome to play around with. But for use in more serious jobs, I think that it will take a bit more time before we see some wide practical application (on the industrial level) this versatile material beyond the hobbyist and artistic levels. But the interest to take it further is certainly out there.
Source for Image: http://www.digitalme.co.uk/assets/images/DrawACircuitMOD_white.jpg