Paper circuits: Mother’s day fun

paper circuits

Over two weekends, we ran some workshops for people to build Mother’s Day cards with a bit of a difference- an electronic difference. Paper circuits are made using normal paper and card and conductive copper tape. The tape is adhesive and can be stuck onto the card to form a circuit when used with other components like LEDs and batteries. There were some very creative cards produced and I’m sure a lot of mothers got a few surprises alongside their cups of tea in bed! The best thing to see was all of the problem-solving and trouble-shooting when things didn’t work out as expected.


Simple Wearables Workshop

We’ve recently been running some very popular simple wearable workshops at TAP:lab. Simply put, wearable technology is any device that can be worn by a person. While people have created incredibly elaborate costumes as forms of art or self-expression, we’ve started small with simple circuits. Over a series of Saturday mornings, people have unleashed their creativity with LEDs and 3v coin cell batteries. The magic ingredient for these is conductive thread: cotton with stainless steel strands woven through it that, when stitched into a garment and knotted around electronic components form circuits: you can literally stitch the circuit right into your clothes.

Makers creating wearables.
Makers creating wearables.

We had a whole lot of creativity in the workshops, from magic wands to hacked cookie monsters to Mario mushrooms. Next step is to begin adding components that interact with the environments: leds that get brighter as the sun goes down or music that plays when your friends get near.

Some of our inspirations:

TinkerCAD 3D Design and Printing Workshop


Andrew held another popular 2 hour workshop for beginners on how to use TinkerCAD. Starting from basic principles of  viewing and manipulating objects in the the design area, the group followed along and designed a pencil stopper. Additive and subtractive combinations of objects were used to create the final object.

Sadly, our 3D printer was returned in what turned out to be a non-working state, so we were unable to print  objects on the day. This didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm, reduce questions asked or the the kids desire to design 3D robots.

If you look in the background in the image above you can see a locally made RepRap Prisua i3, which was on display. This is the kind of 3D printer that is made with a lot of parts printed on a 3D printer. Compare that to our Ultimaker below and you get both ends of the hobbyist 3D printer spectrum.