in love with paper devices

Paper Devices

Greg Saul and Mark D. Gross describe their paper devices as “small paper interactive objects that use nitinol shape-memory alloy wire for actuation, gold leaf printed circuits, embedded microchips for control, and paper outer shells for form and structure.” Their gold leaf circuits applied directly on the paper allow for a light weight, beautiful, and even cheaper (for one-off circuits) alternative to PCBs. Their method for printing the circuits involves the application of spray-on adhesive through laser cut stencil on to which gold leaf is applied – in a process similar to gold leaf gilding. The components are then attached to the circuit with conductive glue. They also designed a clip to both attach the shape memory alloy (SMA) to the paper and connect it to the circuit: it’s made out of a thin strip of brass plate, crimped around the SMA ends, which is then heated to set the wire into place and prevent it from wiggling. Finally, Saul and Gross describe how they used SMA both as invisible muscle and to create paper hinges.These imaginative techniques are described in detail on Interactive Paper Devices: End-user Design & Fabrication. The paper is full of great tips – we’ll definitely be experimenting with these!

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