Dec 27, 2014 | By Simon

As microcontrollers and electronic components become cheaper and smaller, the amount of electronic-based 3D printing projects have never been greater or more exciting. Between more simple projects such as 3D printed circuit boards, to more complex projects such as the Spider 2.0 dress by Anouk Wipprecht, there is a project for everybody these days.

One of the more simple (but no less exciting) projects is the 3D printed Touch Sensor by MakerBot Thingiverse user Gareth (AKA Chiprobot).

The project, which is a modified displacement resistance type touch sensor, uses conductive foam as the resistive element and can be easily tailored to tweak to your own project needs. It can also be hooked up via an analog input to any of the common mcu chips including Parallax Propeller, Arduino, Picaxe and Raspberry Pi.

Using just a simple A4 paper hole puncher, a small sheet of flat thin copper and a small piece of conductive foam, the project involves minimal know-how in the realm of soldering and electronics in the case that you or somebody you know who might be interested is a relative beginner to electronics.

First of all, you need a pair of these 3D printed parts.

As for the necessary 3D printed files, Chiprobot has generously uploaded them to the Touch Sensor Thingiverse project page.

You will need a simple A4 paper Hole puncher.

A small sheet of flat thin copper that a wire has to be soldered to it.

A small piece of "Conductive Foam" , which is commonly found as an antistatic foam used for shipping integrated circuit chips.

Once the materials have been sourced and the files 3D printed, the instructions, as explained by Chiprobot on the Parallax Forum, are simple:

-Use the hole punch to punch 4 to 6 cylinders of the conductive foam.

-Use the hole punch to punch 2 discs out of the copper sheet.

-Solder Wire onto each of the copper disks.

-Feed the wire into the 3D printed base and plunger.

-Feed the conductive foam carefully into the base unit until you get the desired feel of the touchiness (or resistance value)

Whether your end result is for a robotics project or just for a simple way of learning about electronics, it is hands-on interactive projects like these that are not only helping kids get started in 3D printing with exciting applications, but their parents, too!


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive