Control Levels of Light with an Electric Paint Bend Sensor

Turn on a Paper Lamp with Electric Paint

Designer Alice Rzezonka wanted  the act of switching a light on or off to be more tactile, and started exploring sensors on paper:

“I developed this sensor for the concept lamp flexiON, which was part of the project Printable Matters. My key interest was to integrate the sensor that turns the light on aesthetically and functionally into the surface of the final product. This makes the interaction with the lamp simple and intuitive: simply by folding a flat piece of paper into a lamp shade turns the light on.”

She chose to work with Electric Paint because it “worked great on paper and could easily be applied” and as a result learnt more about new ways to approach electronics.

To make your own bend sensor, or a beautiful lamp, please visit Alice and Augustina’s project website Interactive Materiality. Create your own FlexiON lamp, or something new!

Materials To make a bend sensor you will need:

1 x Electric Paint 10ml or 50ml
Japanese Spatula
Paper or cardboard (around 250g/m²)
Masking tape
Bone folde
Clear spray paint
Resistors 10k Ohm
Arduino board
Jump wires
Alligator Clips

Step 1 Make your bend sensor

By folding the paper painted with Electric Paint, the resistance of the measured area changes. This is measured and converted by an Arduino. You can check out how to make your own bend sensor on Alice and Augustina’s website below, or watch the resistance change when the sensor is bent in this video.

Step 2

Alice chose to create a simple paper lamp with the developed bend sensor. The paper can be folded at different angles to vary the brightness levels of the LED.

Step 3

This video shows the FlexiON lamp in action.

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