Pulp-Based Computing

February 7, 2011

Paper electronics

Pulp-Based Computing is a fabrication technique for creating paper composites, which can function as sensors, actuators and circuit boards while retaining the physical and aesthetic qualities of paper.

Papermaking allows for an inclusion process, where a physical object can be permanently embedded in between two individual paper sheets which are then compressed, drained and set to dry. By silk screening and encapsulating electrically active inks, conductive threads, and smart materials in between sheets, it is possible to create an electronic paper “sandwich” that is resilient and inseparable from its embedded object. This process allows for the fabrication of paper speakers, emissive displays, as well as bend-and-touch sensors.

While electronic paper technologies usually overlook the material qualities that are at the core of paper’s versatility, Pulp-Based Computing produces electronic paper composites that can be folded, shredded, recycled, stapled and written on while preserving the electrical reliability and resilience of traditional electronic components.

Contact: MIT Media Laboratory, Cambridge, MA, USA.

For more information, see Transmaterial 3: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine our Physical Environment

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