openMaterials :: research project

My dear friend Kisty Boyle and I recently launched openMaterials – a collaborative research project dedicated to open investigation and experimentation with DIY production methods and uses of materials. In the spirit of the open source software and hardware movements, we hope to promote materials to be researched and developed in a public, collaborative manner. We see materials as an open resource, and wish to establish an open process for exploring and sharing knowledge, techniques and applications related to materials science.

I’ll be conducting most of my hands-on research right here at AltLab. We’d love for you to be involved if you are working in these areas or interested in learning more about smart materials.

Paper and cardboard circuits

A couple of years ago i found out on the “internets” that you don’t really need a protoboard or a circuit board to make your circuits come to life, the idea was to fold a piece of paper with the circuit design in it (component side and circuit diagram side) and then inserting a piece of cardboard in the middle.

The main idea was the eco, recycled “thingy” since circuit boards are not so eco friendly and take a bunch of time to get recycled by our mother earth, also the economic side (paper and cardboard are almost free), instead circuit boarding takes a long time and it’s hazardous for the environment.

So here’s what i do :

1- print the schematic you want (be sure to include on the sheet of paper both sides of the schematic (component side and schematic)

2-fold it (the idea is to fold where the component side meets the schematic)

3-cut a piece of cardboard and insert it in the middle of the sheet of paper

4-glue both sides on to the cardboard (now you must have a beautifull circuit board made of cardboard)

5-with a needle pierce (component side) all drilling holes into schematic side

6-insert the components (resistors, ic, capacitator etc..)

7-turn it back (schematic side) and start to solder (be sure to folow the traces on the paper), the best way to do this is to simply bend the leads of the components and solder them together, if you have a large area were the lead is not long enough just use a wire or something similar.

8-have fun

First meeting

AltLab's first meeting
AltLab’s founding members had their first official meeting yesterday (see photos). We approved the collective’s guidelines, compiled a list of tools to purchase, set up a hardware recycling bin, and then had a lot of fun discussing ideas and sharing knowledge. Two initial work groups were formed to build an outdoors video projector and a remote-controlled-mini-helicopter carrying a video camera  – we’ll post more info on each of these on the community’s platform. We’ll also be working on our individual projects which include robotics, music, computer vision, smart materials, and lots of other fun things. More members and collaborators will be joining us from May 5th on and new work groups will be formed. We’ll keep you posted.