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Flowcuits: Crafting Tangible and Interactive Electrical Components withLiquid Metal Circuits / Matt Jones; Deepak Sahoo

ACM Tangible and Embedded Interfaces 2021

Swansea University Authors: Matt, Jones, Deepak, Sahoo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1145/1122445.1122456

Abstract

We present Flowcuits, a DIY fabrication method to prototype tangible, interactive and functional electrical components by manipulating liquid metal mechanisms. The generated prototypes afford both physical and visual interactions to demonstrate the inner working, underlying concepts and mechanics of...

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Published in: ACM Tangible and Embedded Interfaces 2021
Published: 2021
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa55683
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Abstract: We present Flowcuits, a DIY fabrication method to prototype tangible, interactive and functional electrical components by manipulating liquid metal mechanisms. The generated prototypes afford both physical and visual interactions to demonstrate the inner working, underlying concepts and mechanics of fundamental electronic elements and circuits, which we propose as a method to support playful learning. The fabrication process follows simple imprinting and sealing of fluidic circuits with a 3D printed stamp on a commonly accessible and inexpensive moldable substrate such as 'blu tack'. Utilizing gallium-indium (Ga-In) liquid metal as the conductive element, we demonstrated our approach can create interactive and customizable 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 of the demonstrators. 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 advance lab facilities.
College: College of Science