E-Origami Workshop with SparkFun and the Vermont Makers


Just a heads-up: Friday January 11, 2013 is our favorite day of the year, Inventory Day. That means we’ll all be busy counting every IC, wire, and switch we have in stock, so orders won’t be going out that day. Our apologies for the inconvenience!

At the end of January, SparkFun’s own Jeff Branson (from the Department of Education) is joining forces with the Vermont Makers to host an e-origami workshop. Vermont Makers is a community that shares an interest in the possibilities of micro controllers and open source hardware, encouraging independent projects that blend the arts and technology.

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In this workshop, attendees will combine the ancient art of origami with embedded technology to explore new tools for both learning and teaching concepts in electronics. You’ll also learn about embedding controllers, building switches, conductive thread, and conductive ink as materials. Attendees will explore traditional paper techniques as applied to the creation of more interactive crafts.

The class takes place January 21st, 2013 from 4-6 p.m. EST at the Miller Center Champlain College. You can sign up here. Hope to see you there!


Comments 24 comments

  • The picture and project shown are by Jie Qi: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jieq/5343980589/in/set-72157625670797923/

    It’s a copper tape circuit, part vinyl cut and, I believe, part hand cut. The dashed lines on the sides are conductive thread, which changes in resistance as the corners are folded over. This is detected by the microcontroller and used to actuate (via shape memory alloy) the folding of the corners on a corresponding square of paper: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jieq/5344592738/in/set-72157625670797923

    • David, Many thanks for the clarification. We are also in debt to Jie Qi for inspiration on this workshop. We hope to do justice to the truly great work that got us to the point where we can start offering these classes.

  • That’s crazy small copper tape!

  • I looked at the picture closely and I think that the majority of the layout is copper tape and the small dabs of gray are the conductive paint where two pieces of copper tape join. I also like the way that traces have been routed under other traces by layering pieces of paper. This would be a great way to explain PCB layers to kids. I’ve also worked in SMA (Shape Memory Alloy) research for the past 9 years and while it is simple to use it is tricky to use correctly (where millions of cycles are needed) but like the idea of integrating them in Origami.

  • As I asked yesterday, will there be a products post on friday?

  • What’s the thingy in the picture do? ovo

    • looks like an ATMega broken out with the conductive ink/copper tape or whatever it is. I see what looks to be a reset button–maybe on the other side are some LED’s or something. Maybe a chain of LED origami’s? I don’t know! looks like fun!

  • Isn’t inventory meant to be done at the end of the year ?

    • I worked at Mushkin (www.mushkin.com) and we did inventory monthly. In the case of SFE< they need to do it before tax day.

    • We’ve traditionally done it before the end of the year, but last year the outside accountants complained about that. Based on their recommendation, we’re doing it immediately AFTER the end of the year.

    • Close enough ;)

  • When is sparkfun co going to have this class?

    • Matt, We don’t have this on the schedule as of right now. Please keep checking and we’ll try to get something for the locals.


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