Squishy Circuits with Conductive Dough

Jumper wires are a staple for anyone working with electronics.  Jumper wires for solderless breadboards, jumper wires with alligator clips, jumper wires in oodles of different colors and lengths.

But, wires can be boring.  Wires are extremely functional, but they can leave a lot to be desired in the aesthetics department.

Enter “Squishy Circuits”!

In their 2014 book “The Art of Tinkering”, Karen Wilkinson and Mike Petrich give more than just a set of directions for nifty DIdemo of a squishy circuitY projects.   They pull back the curtain at The Exploratorium to reveal a world, and a process, just as curiosity-piquing as the projects themselves.  In this book, there is a recipe for a conductive dough that can be used to make circuits.  That is what I used to make the green globs in the animated gif here.  Watch the full-size video to see the green LED much easier.

(I haven’t requested permission to reprint the recipe for the conductive dough from Exploratorium’s book.  But, the “squishy circuits” section of the book comes from AnnMarie Thomas, and she is the “Squishy Circuits” Project Director at St. Thomas University. You can find the recipe for conductive dough, and for insulating dough, at the “Squishy Circuits” project site.)

What sort of things might be made from this dough, so that electricity can be conducted through them to light lights or turn motors?  Only the limits of one’s imagination could say!  What sort of projects might you use conductive dough for?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Squishy Circuits with Conductive Dough”

  1. Whoa! That is cool!

    It would be nice as students prototype their designs in the testing phase. As they figure out what works and does not work, they can then use regular jumper wires. As the students begin to understand electricity and how it works, it would be a great tool for students to test electricity on.

    Thank you for sharing!

  2. Yeah! That would be cool. You could set it up as a PBL challenge. “ABC Company needs to find the best recipe for conductive squishy circuits. Here are the ingredients that you can use. Find the most conductive and efficient formula. Prepare a presentation to a group of electrical engineers.”

    It would be an awesome and relevant experience for students.

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