Royal College of Art IDE Workshop: Liquid Switches

Turning LEDs on and off using Electric Paint

conductive paint suspended in baby oil

Last week we ran a very successful workshop with the Royal College of Art’s Innovation Design Engineering programme. 20 MA/MsC students were each given a pot of Electric Paint and a loose brief to explore the material.  The outputs were fantastic!


Materials To begin you will need:

1 x Electric Paint 50ml
Baby Oil

Step 1 Introduction

These images show a series of liquid switches all constructed using Electric Paint and baby oil.

Because Electric Paint is water based, it will congeal to itself when put into oil. Baby oil works particularly well, plus its transparent so you can see what is happening.

In each of the prototypes, a ball of Electric Paint is closing the circuit between two electrodes.

Make sure to watch the videos below.

Step 2 Video tutorial #1

Step 3 Video tutorial #2

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