Printed Interfaces
Instructor: Clemens Wegener
Credits: 6 ECTS, 3 SWS
Capacity: max. 12 students
Language: Deutsch/English
Location: Marienstrasse 7B, R002
First Meeting: 9th April 2019, 9:15 AM


Printed Electronics can turn everyday objects into interfaces for the digital world. We will use screen printing with conductive ink to print our own designs on paper, leather, or glass and use them as buttons or slider with the help of microcontrollers such as Arduino. This way we we create objects which serve as input devices for digital functionalities. 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. Here we focus on the screen printing methos and the concept of capacitive sensing with Arduino. Students will design their own objects which we will print on and connect to an Arduino in our second meeting.

Admission requirements

Knowledge in Hard- and Software would be appreciated, but is not a requirement. For buying electronic components, a little budget of 20€ to 30€ is neccessary. Of course you can keep your manufactured works.


Successful completion of the course is dependent on regular attendance, active participation, completion of assignments, delivery of a relevant semester prototype and documentation. Please refer to the Evaluation Rubric for more details.

Eligible participants

Qualified BA Medienkunst/-gestaltung, BA Media Art and Design

Syllabus (subject to change)

- introduction to inkjet and screen printing - Materials and links - 1. inkjet printing: - materials and inks - simple moisture Sensor + led - capacitive Sensor + arduino 2. screen printing - materials and inks - screens and - carbon ink + capacitive sensing - carbone ink + force sensing - silver ink(?) -

Course Material

Further Reading

Suganuma, Katsuaki: Introduction to Printed Electronics. New York: Springer Science+Business Media, 2014.

Y. Kawahara, S. Hodges, N. Gong, S. Olberding and J. Steimle, "Building Functional Prototypes Using Conductive Inkjet Printing," in IEEE Pervasive Computing, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 30-38, July-Sept. 2014.

Zamborlin, Bruno. 2015. Studies on customisation-driven digital music instruments. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Murray-Smith, Roderick & Williamson, John & Hughes, Stephen & Quaade, Torben. (2008). Stane: Synthesized surfaces for tactile input. Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings. 1299-1302. 10.1145/1357054.1357257.

Rasamimanana, N.H., Bevilacqua, F., Schnell, N., Guédy, F., Fléty, E., Maestracci, C., Zamborlin, B., Frechin, J., & Petrevski, U. (2010). Modular musical objects towards embodied control of digital music. Tangible and Embedded Interaction.

Jones, Randy & Driessen, Peter & Schloss, W & Tzanetakis, George. (2009). A Force-Sensitive Surface for Intimate Control.

Pure Data Patches


Setting Up the Raspberry Pi

  • You will need an SD card reader for Micro SD cards (eventually and SD card adapter)
  • Download etcher and PatchboxOS
  • Install balenaEtcher and launch
  • Select downloaded PatchboxOS image and press flash
  • Plug Your SD Card to the Raspberry Pi
  • If you don't have a Raspberry Pi 3: Plug Your USB WIFI to the Raspberry
  • Start it up!


Inspiration for your projects: