Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Copper Tape Circuits

Final Products

For this assignment, we were required to complete three projects: a simple paper circuit, a circuit involving an inspirational quote, and a circuit incorporated into either a pop-up card or piece of origami.

For the simple circuit, we were provided the design in our lab section, and simply applied copper tape and the LED in order to create a circuit with a switch. I had a bit of trouble applying the copper tape due to inexperience with it, but improvised a solution to allow the current to flow.

For the second project, I received the quote “those who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, usually do.” For the image, I decided to draw a brain with a light bulb, and proceeded to draw a design for the circuit (dots representing yellow LEDs).

The goal was to make the brain the switch, causing the light bulb to glow. However, when I applied the two LEDs, battery and copper tape, the LEDs did not glow when the circuit was completed. In order to fix this, the design was changed to have the LEDs be in parallel rather than in series (I forgot to take a picture). This, fortunately, worked. The drawing was then colored in, and the project was assembled using a stapler.

For the final project, we were required to make a 3D paper object using three or more LEDs while using at least two colors. Rather than a pop-up card, I decided to use origami. I took four sheets of construction paper, cut them into squares, and taped them together. I then proceeded to fold the paper into a T-Rex design.

Origami T-Rex

I decided to incorporate the LEDs as eyes and a heart using two white LEDs and a red LED. I used a sewing needle to poke holes in the paper to place the LEDs. I knew how I would implement a circuit into the T-Rex, but did not sketch it because I did not want to put a lot of marks on the paper. I decided to have three paths leave the battery to run the LEDs in parallel. What was difficult with this project was testing which resistor would be needed in order to allow all three lights to glow in parallel, since the red LED would take practically all of the current as the path of least resistance. I eventually decided to use a 120 ohm resistor for the path that contained the red LED.

T-Rex Circuit

There certainly are ways that I could have improved my projects, such as adding more design to the quote project, but I feel that I still made quality projects. I feel that I learned a decent amount about basic circuitry thanks to this project. Overall, this was a very fun project with circuitry.

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