What started out as PhD research for Analisa Russo and Brett Walker has become one of the most innovative and fun devices popping up in maker spaces and schools across the country. Through their research Walker and Russo developed and refined a conductive ink that would flow from a ballpoint pen. This gives the user the flexibility to draw circuits as easily as they would write their name. This conductive ink means that you can add LEDs, motors, fans, buzzers and a variety of electronic components to your drawing and bring them to life.
Russo and Walker took this research and turned it into their company ElectronInks (get it, electronic and ink) and their first product CircuitScribe. They knew that what they had discovered and created was cool but they had no idea if anyone else would think the same thing. So they took it to Kickstarter. With an initial goal of $80,000 they waited and people came in droves. They eventually raised $674,425 from 12,777 backers.
CircuitScribe is great for electrical engineering students, makers, creators and even engineers sketching a design out that they can prove with simple components.
Even if it wasn’t intentional, CircuitScribe has taken off in elementary, middle and high schools where everyone from science teachers to art teachers, engineering classes to maker spaces have embraced CircuitScribe because it’s fun, educational and creative. Students far and wide are bringing projects to life using the pen.
CircuitScribe pens are the same size as everyday ball point pens. The conductive ink is non-toxic and drys at room temperature. Unlike many other items needed for the makerspace, CircuitScribe pens start at just $19.95 and they have bundles that can be purchased specifically for schools and makerspaces.
In the CircuitScribe shop you can purchase ready made kits that include CircuitScribe pens, batteries, buzzers, lights, other components and workbooks chalk full of ideas.
CircuitScribe’s shop also features nearly 20 modules that you can bring to life with a battery and a CircuitScibe pen. These modules include:
- 9V battery adapter
- USB adapter
- Light sensor
- Double switch
- Multi-colored LED
- Motor with wheel
- NPN Transistor
- 2 Pin connector
- DIY Board
- Connection cables
- Coin cell battery adapter
They’re constantly adding to the modules to create amazing projects. CircuitScribe is a great reminder that maker spaces, STEM/STEAM go well beyond robots, coding and 3D printing.
Try it out for yourself and see the latest from CircuitScribe at CES 2018, January 9-12th in Las Vegas, in The Sands Halls A-D booth #43075 (upstairs from Eureka Park), and you can find them online at circuitscribe.com