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

Paper Circuits Assignment- Nicholas Agate

The first item to cover is the basic paper circuit that I created in class. This was the first time I had ever used copper tape, and I think that it is a great way to introduce someone to the basics of circuitry. This simple circuit had a 3-volt battery, copper tape, a switch, and an LED. Please see my basic paper circuit below.

Next, I picked out a quote for the picture with two LEDs. Because my quote spoke of light, I decided to have the two LEDs shining through a candle. I also ended up creating a circuit in-parallel. When the match is pushed, the positive strip of copper tape touches the battery which completes the circuit and lights up the two LEDs. Please see my picture with two LEDs below.

Finally we have the 3-dimensional paper object. When I was brainstorming for this project I knew that I wanted to somehow incorporate my Italian heritage. So, I decided to create a pop-up card that featured the Italian flag, the Tower of Pisa and the Statue of David. I started by sketching the flag, and then I brainstormed circuit designs that could be used on the back of the card. Please see the sketches below.

I ultimately wanted to have a colored flag with matching LEDs poking through each of the flag stripes. to do this, I used an in-parallel circuit that ran behind the flag. Because of the resistances of the LEDs that I selected, green, white, and red, the current was able to power each of the LEDs without a resistor. I also included a switch by gluing a piece of elevated paper with copper tape on it over a split in the negative copper strip. Please see the circuit and LEDs below.

The largest issue that I encountered while making this project was getting the battery to be seated correctly. Because the material that I used is relatively lightweight, the connection between the battery and copper strips is not the best. I did not end up finding a better way to solve this issue besides pushing the battery down in unison with the switch. If I were to do the project again, I would spend more time looking for a fix to this issue.

Overall, I enjoyed making this project and really like how the final piece turned out. The final project has the Italian flag, the Tower of Pisa and the Statue of David. It also has a green, white, and red theme with an Italian coin which serves as the switch. Please see the final outcome below.

Image Sources


Statue of David:

Leaning Tower of Pisa:

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