Conductive paint/ink reinvented for the maker generation

Conductive paint/ink reinvented for the maker generation

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By eeNews Europe

The products are aimed at the complete range of potential customers, from hobbyists to professional engineers, and including the ‘maker’ sector. Bare Conductive says that one reason it has partnered with RS is for the access that the distributor has to each of those constituencies.

Electric Paint is a carbon-based paint or ink that comes either in a direct-dispense tube or pen ; or in pots for brushing or screening. The product is electrically conductive (in both liquid and dried states), non-toxic, solvent-free, and water-soluble. It can be used as a liquid wire, as a cold-soldering medium, or even as a conductive adhesive. Suitable for use with low-voltage DC power supplies, Electric Paint can be used as a potentiometer and is suitable for prototyping, repairing PCBs, and painting circuits and sensors on any surface. It can be used to make ad-hoc connections on any dielectric surface, for example “wiring up” components in education projects by, say, following a circuit drawn on paper.

The medium can be employed as a resistive or capacitive touch sensor; it can be overpainted or placed behind a plastic panel to make it permanent (it air-dries but does not cure and remains water soluble). Quoted resistivity is 55 Ω/square at 50-microns thickness; clearly, achieved resistance depends on applied thickness and the company says that 32 Ω/sq is typical for a layer applied by brush. The product screen-prints well, Bare conductive adds.

Also from Bare Conductive, RS will be carrying the Touch Board microcontroller boardnext page

Also from Bare Conductive, RS will be carrying the Touch Board microcontroller board that integrates an Atmel capacitive touch-enabled microcontroller chip, MP3 player, SD Card slot, Li-Po battery charger, and 12 electrodes. The electrodes can be connected directly to conductors, such as Electric Paint pads, to trigger sounds via the MP3 player or other functions such as wireless communication or motor control added using an Arduino expansion shield. The board has been designed to a minimal profile so that it can be directly embedded and the 12 interface terminals are maximum size for Electric Paint, screw, or solder connections.

Touch Board is an Arduino Shield-compatible processor board with the extra features of the 12-channel touch/proximity interface and the MP3 player. It appears as an Arduino Leonardo to the Arduino IDE for programming purposes and is Arduino Rev 3 Shield compatible. Touch Board is designed to work with Electric Paint which behaves like ‘liquid wire’ and can be used as conductive adhesive. The number of touch-activated projects enabled by combining Touch Board with Electric Paint is only limited by the imagination. Priced at £55 (UK Pounds or equivalent), the board hosts;

ATMega32u4 16 MHz MCU, 32 kB Flash memory, 2.5 kB SRAM, 1 kB EEPROM

Bootloader uses 4KB of Flash memory

Freescale MPR121 12-channel touch interface

VLSI VS1053B multi-format audio CODEC

20 x GPIO pins maximum

7 x PWM channels

12 x analogue input channels

12 x Touch electrodes of which 8 can be configured as extra GPIO with PWM capability

Power supply: +5Vdc (automatic voltage selector for USB or battery operation)

Built in LiPo battery charger with status LED

microSD card slot

3.5mm audio out jack socket

microUSB socket

External power socket

Dimensions: 84 x 62 x 10mm

At power-up, the board is flashed with its own audio guide; you can also see the Getting Started guide at:

RS Components;

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