IFD:Printed Electronics ButtonUp

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Fachmodul, Werkmodul
Title: Printed Electronics Inkjet: Button Up!
Lecturer: Florian Wittig
Credits/SWS: 6 ECTS, 2 SWS
Maximum Number of Participants: 15
Course Language: English
First meeting: April 11, 17:00, Marienstraße 7b, Room 103
Date: tba
Venue: Marienstraße 7b, Room 103


Buttons, keys, and switches continue to fascinate us. Printed buttons lack an immediate tactile feedback, but they offer flexibilty, diversity in shape, and a quick and easy production process. Making use of these qualities, students participating in the module will design objects which use printed buttons as an input device.

We will first take a look at the basic qualities and possibilities of printed electronics, as well as the characteristics of the tools we are going to use. During so-called prototyping sessions we will have the opportunity to experiment and combine printed circuits with electronic components.

To fabricate printed buttons we are using an inkjet printer equipped with conductive ink. By means of capacitive sensing and a microcontroller those buttons will be used as an input, connected to a computer or electronic components such as LEDs. Even without making use of a microcontroller, switches can be built by designing individual folding techniques.

Red button.jpg Printed button2.jpg

Admission requirements / Voraussetzung zur Teilnahme an der Veranstaltung

Basic knowledge regarding microcontrollers and electronics components is helpful, but technical pre-requisites are not required. Concurrent enrollment in other IFD courses offering is strongly encouraged.

Registration procedure / Anmeldung

Please register at the faculty's module registration on Tuesday, April 4th. Students who are not able to take part in the faculty module registration, please register until April 3rd by email with the Subject Printed Electronics ButtonUp to: florian.wittig (at) uni-weimar.de. Your email should contain the following information:

  • name, surname
  • program and semester (Studienprogramm und Fachsemester)
  • wether you are a Bachelor or a Master student
  • matriculation number (Matrikelnummer)
  • valid email address @uni-weimar.de (no other mailing addresses will be accepted) Why?
  • short sentence on why you want to participate in this course.

Evaluation / Geforderte Prüfungsleistung zur Erlangung eines Leistungsnachweises

Active participation; planning & fabricating an object containing printed control buttons, documentation.

Eligible participants / Zielgruppe

Graduates enrolled in the Faculties of Media, Art and Design, and in the MediaArchitecture program.
Open to students of other departments, please ask the staff at your department wether the credit points can be taken into account.


April 11 - First meeting
April 18 - Introduction to printed electronics
April 25 - Lab tour
May 2 - Buttons! / Components & material
May 9 - Prototyping Session 1.1
May 16 - Prototyping Session 1.2
May 23 - Designing circuits
May 30 - Midterm Presentations
June 6 - Simple Arduino scripts for printed buttons
June 13 - Prototyping Session 2.1
June 20 - Prototyping Session 2.2
June 27 - Individual project work / Digital printing basics
July 4 - Individual project work / Information on project documentation
July 11 - Final Presentations


Printed Electronics:

  • Suganuma, Katsuaki: Introduction to Printed Electronics. New York: Springer Science+Business Media, 2014.
    ISBN 978-1-4614-9624-3 (Print) ISBN 978-1-4614-9625-0 (Online)
    (E-Book accessible via a link in the catalogue of the university library)
  • Nan-Wei Gong, Jürgen Steimle, Simon Olberding, Steve Hodges, Nicholas Gillian, Yoshihiro Kawahara, and Joseph A. Paradiso: PrintSense: A Versatile Sensing Technique to Support Multimodal Flexible Surface Interaction. CHI 2014 Toronto: ACM, 2014.
  • For more information on printed electronics, take a look at the #links channel in our Slack group.

Digital Printing:

  • Kipphan, Helmut (ed.): Handbook of Print Media: Technologies and Production Methods. Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 2001.
    ISBN 978-3540673262

Working with paper:

  • Jackson, Paul: Vom Faltobjekt zum Werbeträger : Schneide- und Falttechniken im Papierdesign. Bern: Haupt Verlag, 2013.
    ISBN 978-3-258-60070-3 (more releases by Paul Jackson available in the University Library)
  • Avella, Natalie: Paper Engineering : Papier als 3D-Werkstoff. München: Stiebner, 2004.
    ISBN 978-3-8307-1292-3