Most of us haven’t heard much about this product and it is catching on slowly but it’s such an ingenious idea. Conductive electric paint comes in a jar or pen. DIYers have really been having fun with this unique product and there are special websites where you can show off your latest project.
One person made a touch bar for a guitar and you can buy ready-made kits to build your own or just wing it. In another project, the DIYer used a criss-cross design to build a sensor board with access nodes. Normally, these designs should be covered over with a sealant to protect the conductive paint from damage, moisture, etc.
Figure 1-Printed Sensors
This is not the type of product that you’d see an electrical contractor using on a job but it would be a fun idea for a weekend project that would dazzle all your friends.
Copper conductive paint is also quite popular and it allows you to transform non-conductive items such as leather, plastic, ceramics, flowers, cardboard, leaves, roses and others so they can be plated. The ideas are endless when it comes to arts and crafts, but eventually manufacturers will be able to make a grade of conductive paint that’s strong and long-lasting enough to be used by electrical contractors.
Figure 2-Spectacle Button Board
Though you can do some simple wiring projects with this paint, they are not a long-lasting solution. But the technology is changing and becoming better each year. At some point in the future, electricians may be able to simply paint their wires on a wall. Think how cool and efficient that would be.
The idea comes from a London-based company who began with a product called Bare Conductive Viscous Paint. It is available in black and copper and is moderately affordable so you can experiment with all sorts of ideas. The paint is carbon-based.
There is now a huge community of followers for these products. Users seem to come up with unlimited ways to use this paint, from making a sound keyboard to installing a light switch on a wall. One artist is using this paint to turn his paintings into cool musical instruments. Imagine walking up to a painting and being able to “play it” like a guitar. That’s already possible and being done – no telling what new and exciting projects will be built next.
Conductive electric paint is water-based and has good surface resistance. It air dries in about one hour and cleans up with soap and water. It’s non-toxic, water soluble and provides about 20 square feet of coverage for 4 fluid ounces. It works with low voltage DC power and can power small devices. It can be used as a unique micro-controller interface or a potentiometer. Attenuation: more than 75 dB from 30 MHz to 1.5 GHz.
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