Since 15 March 2021, this page is not updated anymore and serves purely as an archive of previous activities. The webpage of Christian Sandor’s new team is now located at: https://ar-lab.org.

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Flowcuits: Crafting Tangible and Interactive Electrical Components with Liquid Metal Circuits

Abstract

We present Flowcuits, a DIY fabrication method to prototype tangible, interactive and functional electrical components by manipulating liquid metals. The prototypes afford both physical and visual interactions to demonstrate the inner working mechanics of fundamental electronic elements, which enables tangible and playful learning. The fabrication process follows simple imprinting and sealing of fluidic circuits with a 3D-printed stamp on an accessible moldable-substrates such as `Blu Tack’. Utilizing conductive gallium indium liquid metal, we demonstrated interactive and re-configurable electronic components such as switches, variable resistors, variable capacitors, logic gates and pressure sensors. In this paper, we present the design analogy of Flowcuits, DIY fabrication approach including a parametric 3D stamp design toolkit and results from a technical evaluation. The stamps are printed with a low-cost 3D printer and all the materials are inexpensive and reusable, enabling Flowcuits to be easily used without any advanced lab facilities.

Publication
Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction
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Yutaka Tokuda
Assistant Professor

Researcher, Inventor & Media Artist