Circuits–the wires that carry electricity from point A to point B in an electronic device–are becoming more and more low-tech. Scientists are wiring them into our clothes via silver nanowires or redefining the circuit altogether by trading wires for nontraditional conductive materials like slime mold.
But one of the biggest innovations has been making it easier than ever to fabricate our own circuits at home. AgIC Print is the newest project meant to bring circuit fabrication to the desktop, and it does it with a familiar tool: off-the-shelf inkjet printers. The kit is currently going for $299 in AgIC’s Kickstarter campaign, which closes today, and it can be used to modify any existing printer.
The AgIC Print is not the first use-at-home circuit printer. The Cartesian Co. EX¹ is a dedicated desktop circuit printer that also works with materials like plastic and fabric, while conductive ink pens like the Circuit Scribe allow you to freehand your craziest circuits. The AgIC’s benefit is that it combines the precision of a desktop printer with a lower cost than the EX¹ (though you still have to buy your own printer).
It is possible right now to hack your inkjet without the help of AgIC. But it can be complex and involves tools like crockpots and lightbulbs. The AgIC Print takes care of the biggest headaches.
Though creating custom electronics may sound foreign to most people, it will become more and more appealing as we integrate more devices into our homes and clothing. Imagine creating your own light-up bracelet, computer controller or interactive notes–all of which are already possible with a kit like the AgIC Print.
AgIC is also selling a pen that draws with conductive ink for $19. The campaign runs through 1:49 PM PT today.