Electronic Paint Brush

Let's make "electronic paint brushes" that we can use with Glowdoodle! Your electronic paint brush might have a single LED or a couple of LEDs. Test your connections before you glue and make sure the battery is strong enough to light multiple LEDs.

Here is how I made my electronic paint brush. I started by cutting out a rectangle of cardboard and I used a ruler to carefully bend the cardboard into a box shape. I used hot glue to glue it all together and while the glue dried I held it together with binder clips and rubber bands.

Meanwhile I folded a long thin strip of cardboard in half.

I marked which side the positive lead of the LED would go on to help keep it clear as I built my paint brush. I poked a couple holes in the cardboard and poked my LED leads through the holes.

I stripped the ends of the wire to connect to my LED.

When the LED was in place I used the hot glue gun to secure it to the cardboard.

Likewise, I secured the wires to the LED with some hot glue.

I glued the wire to the back of the cardboard.

I glued the wired piece of cardboard to the handle I built.

I built a prototype switch to see if the plan worked. It did, so I had a plan for my paint brush switch. Your paint brush does not need to have a switch if you do not want one.

The end of the negative wire was stripped and secured to the handle using conductive copper tape.

I used the same construction for the switch as with my prototype, but I did not use copper tape on the positive wire. Instead, I built a springy coil that would contact the battery with little force on the switch.

When the switch is closed the LED lights up!

What will your electronic paint brush look like?


TechKim said…
Josh - thank you so much for sharing this idea and sample. I did it with HS girls yesterday & they loved the combination of making a circuit for their first time and creating art. Another option to using wire & hot glue is aluminum tape. It's not as elegant, but I think cheaper.
TechKim said…
Josh - thank you so much for sharing this idea and example. I did it with HS girls yesterday as a way to introduce circuits (we'll be doing wearable electronics later) and they so enjoyed the hands-on, creative aspect of this project. Also, we used aluminum tape instead of wire & hot glue (not as elegant, but cheaper, I think).