Drawing working circuits with electrically-conductive paint

Posted by Beth Buczynski, EarthTechling

Not so long ago we brought you word of the 3Doodler, a 3D printing pen that allows you to draw simple structures into thin-air.

If that didn’t blast through the confines of your imagination news of another gadget that blurs the lines between art and technology will. Well, more of a substance than a gadget, really.

Bare Paint is a non-toxic paint that allows the creation of “liquid wiring” on any surface. Created by London-based Bare Conductive Ltd, the paint is an electrically-conductive, water-based substance that can be used to create interactive surfaces on almost any material…no wires or fuses necessary!

bare paint

Image via Bare Conductive

According to Phys.Org, Bare Paint began as a project by the inventors, then students, at the Royal College of Art. The creators like to split potential applications into two simple classifications, signaling and powering.  ”Signaling could include using the Paint as a potentiometer while interfacing with a micro-controller, as a conduit in a larger circuit or as a capacitive sensor. Powering a device would include lighting LED’s or driving small speakers. The most interesting stuff happens when you combine these properties into something new.” they write.

“It’s got a surface resistivity of about 55 ohms/square at 50 microns layer thickness,”reports Dvice. “Though water-based, the paint isn’t waterproof and can be easily painted over with waterproof paint or varnish” if you don’t like the black color. It also adheres well to a wide range of synthetic and natural fabrics (hello wearable technology!) but because Bare Paint is water soluble, washing the textile would remove any paint which has been applied. 

Now instead of just drawing a circuit on paper, instructors could use Bare Paint to create and then demonstrate the schematic! Two dimensional works could be transformed into interactive art, and the possibilities go on!

Beth Buczynski, EarthTechling