Conductive Paint Liquidity Lamp

Conductive paint liquid lamps aren’t completely new, but it’s always exciting to see how they’re made and what drives the idea behind them.

Product Designer & Industrial Design Engineer Jose Maria Riesco created this super cool liquid lamp using Electric Paint. We caught up with Jose to find out more details about his creative project.

Combining design and Bare Conductive’s Electric Paint, Jose’s main goal was to find a new way for users to interact with the objects and the environment that surrounds them, especially in a domestic place.

This is why he designed a system in which the user can activate any electrical appliance through the use of Electric Paint in a liquid state.

Inspired by the Royal College of Art IDE Workshop and Patrick Stevenson-Keating’s Liquidity exhibition, Jose chose to explore the possibilities of using Electric Paint as a liquid switch.

In order to get the project moving, he did research on previous liquidity projects, a lot of experimentation with conductive paint, prototyping, testing, and finally testing the final design.

Because of Electric Paint’s viscosity and based on previous projects’ references, Jose decided to mix Electric Paint with baby oil.

However, after doing that, he noticed that the flow inside the receptacle wasn’t what he was looking for. There was also huge resistivity when he tried to light up the LED diode powered with 9V.

After working on the voltage and current of the circuit, he got a resistivity of 513 Ohms, which was too high for his liquid lamps. Jose then decided to use Electric Paint as a conductive sensor instead, this way an Arduino and a relay would be able to turn a 220V bulb on.

The final design is a hand-crafted MDF box, covered by a mirror effect acrylic glass sheet. Jose hacked a petri dish to operate as terminal and diluted Electric Paint to be able to turn the light on.

When the liquid is poured from the beaker to the petri dish, the Arduino microcontroller receives a signal, which warns the relay that it must pass the current and turn the bulb on.

Jose’s goal was to explore the possibilities of Electric Paint and its application to the field of the Industrial and Product Design. Through this experimental project, he was able to learn more about Electric Paint and how it works. His next objective is to take this further and apply this knowledge to a bigger project. It could be a product for the domestic environment or an ephemeral installation.

Images: Jose Maria Riesco

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