About this project
"Super convenient. I can edit my circuits on the fly, which is amazing." - Allen Pan, the inventor of Conductak
"Perfect for every educator following the Maker Movement." - Lindsay Balfour, Maker Educator.
What is AgIC Erasable Circuit Marker?
AgIC Erasable Circuit Marker consists of two pens: Circuit Marker and Circuit Eraser. The Circuit Marker writes in silver conductive ink, and the Circuit Eraser erases traces drawn by the Circuit Marker.
Circuit Marker: The Circuit Marker lets you draw electric circuits quickly and easily. This girl made a card for her mom!
The marker contains AgIC silver nano-particle ink, which dries and becomes conductive in a second on glossy photo paper and special PET film.
Circuit Eraser: The Circuit Eraser is a marker containing a solution that erases the AgIC ink. The eraser works a lot like erasers for pencils. After you erase, you can draw again with the Circuit Marker.
What can I make with an Erasable Circuit Marker?
Whether you're an experienced engineer or just starting to learn circuits, Erasable Circuit Marker provides virtually limitless potential for creating and exploring circuits. Children can learn circuits through trial and error without having to start from scratch after a mistake. Engineers can visualize and implement ideas, creating prototypes on the fly. Let's take a look at some of the potential uses.
Your original cards with gimmicks
Do you like arts and crafts? Get even more creative by introducing circuits into your works. Worried about your experience with electrical circuits? No need to worry - the flexibility of Circuit Eraser will allow you to learn circuits and add gimmicks to your cards and other projects with ease.
Make sensor interfaces on paper
You can connect your drawings to many interesting components and devices for electrical circuits. For example, connected to Arduino or mbed microcontroller, your drawing works as a touch sensor interface.
Trial and error with Circuit Eraser
We invented the Circuit Eraser to bring the process of trial and error to making circuits on paper. When we offered Circuit Markers in workshops and events, we noticed that many people made short circuits, and would have to start from scratch after making a mistake. With Erasable Circuit Marker, you can fix a mistake quickly, learn from the mistake, and keep creating!
Many conductive pastes and pens have appeared as rapid prototyping and education tools. However, no product addresses another important aspect of prototyping and learning - trial and error. Being able to make mistakes at a low cost is important for hands-on learning and making. Circuit Erasers make learning circuits and creating prototypes more affordable and accessible.
Who is AgIC?We are an 11-month-old start-up based in Tokyo, Japan and Silicon Valley in the U.S. Our team is comprised of entrepreneurs, experienced electrical engineers, and designers.
Our mission is making electric circuits more accessible to people of all ages and levels of experience. We have been developing products with a silver conductive ink since 2011, including a period of research with our technical advisor, Yoshi Kawahara.
In addition to Circuit Marker, we invented AgIC Circuit Printer, which was constructed using a regular inkjet printer and cartridges with the silver conductive ink. With the printer, you can design circuits with any drawing software and print the design in the same way you print photos. In March 2014, we launched a successful Kickstarter project and shipped all of the rewards with few delays. Since AgIC Circuit Printers use the same conductive ink as the Circuit Marker, the Circuit Eraser can also erase circuit traces produced by a printer.
Our products have received many awards globally, including the Microsoft Innovation Award and three Editor’s Choice at Maker Faire Bay Area and New York 2014.
We need your support!
In order to make Circuit Erasers in a reality, we need your support to mass produce the erasers. We have been making prototypes of Circuit Erasers by hand. Our prototypes helped many people who tried AgIC Circuit Markers in events like Maker Faire, and our goal is to make the erasers available for everyone. We will be using funds from this campaign to complete the final round of pre-production prototypes and to fund the first batch of mass-production.
The Circuit Eraser was created to bring an accessible and affordable experience to circuit prototyping. With your support we can bring this innovation to learners and creators alike. Together let’s see this innovation bring a new level of hands-on learning and design to everyone!
$10: AgIC Circuit Eraser: This reward contains only the Circuit Eraser, and is for those who already have AgIC Circuit Marker. It does not come with Circuit Marker.
$25 AgIC Marker Starter Kit: Start making circuits immediately with LEDs and batteries! This kit contains everything you need to try the Erasable Circuit Marker.
Contents: Circuit Marker, Circuit Eraser, five pieces of A6 special paper (4.1x5.8 Inches), two CR2016/F2N batteries, and five chip LEDs per color (blue, red, and green).
$40 AgIC Marker Craft Kit: With this kit, you can make gimmicks with light sensors and add other effects. Create a greeting card that lights up when it is opened and surprise your family and friends!
Contents: Starter kit + 2 pcs of photo sensor IC + 2 effect modules + color papers (red, yellow, light blue, and light green).
$90 AgIC Marker Paper Speaker Kit ($80 for early bird): Did you know that a coil drawn by a Circuit Marker works as a speaker? Draw your own speaker and play with it!
Contents: Starter Kit + paper speaker set (an amplifier, a magnet, and a special stencil to draw a coil).
$200 Classroom Kit: 10 Starter Kits.
$250 Printer Kit ($225 for early bird): Do you want to make fine designs beyond handwriting? Use AgIC Circuit Printer to design and print your circuits from a computer!
Contents: Starter Kit (except A6 special paper) + three Cartridges for AgIC Circuit Printer, 10 sheets of A4 size special paper, and conductive glue. This kit does not include a printer, so you will need to buy a compatible Brother printer. We will announce compatible printer models before we ship the rewards.
- Curing and usable paper: The silver conductive ink dries and becomes conductive on glossy photo paper and special PET film within a few seconds at room temperature. For the rewards above, we will provide the special photo paper for this ink which works best. You can also refer to our website about off-the-shelf paper that works well with the AgIC ink. As there are chemical reactions involved when making a conductive trace, research is required to determine whether or not AgIC ink is conductive on the other materials.
Drawable length: About 30 meters (100 feet) with the special paper we offer in the above kits.
Resistance: 0.2-0.3 ohm per square on the special paper. This depends on how you draw and what paper you draw on. "Ohm/Square" is a tricky unit, but it simply means a printed pattern with a square shape has 0.2-0.3 ohm. If you draw a line with 1mm/mil-width and 10mm/mil-length, it has 2-3 ohm.
Shelf life: Six months. We recommend using it within six months, but our prototype of Circuit Marker made in February 2014 still works as of November 2014.
Mechanism: The ink inside Circuit Eraser is water-based and non-toxic. The ink is formulated to distill and loosen the silver trace. The tip of the marker lets you rub off the trace easily. This idea and ink formulation are patent pending.
Does the eraser work for other conductive inks? We tested the eraser with Circuit Scribe by Electroninks and it worked on a trace of Circuit Scribe written on glossy photo paper. The erasers don't work for Electric Paint by Bare Conductive.
How many times can Circuit Eraser erase? The ink inside of Circuit Eraser lets you erase about 100 times. Another important point to keep in mind is that the tip gets dirty as you erase, which is very similar to erasers for pencils. About every 10 times you erase, you will need to clean the tip by replacing it or running the eraser across a blank slip of normal paper. We will determine our recommendation and packaging about these two options through testing with prototypes.
Shelf life: The eraser works as long as the eraser is sealed and the ink inside does not dry up. Because the ink inside the eraser evaporates fairly quickly, we recommend putting the cap on the eraser after each use.
January 2015: Finalizing details of Circuit Erasers
We are finalizing the details of the eraser (the combination of ink formulation and nib) to provide the best performance. This prototyping phase will be completed in January 2015.
February 2015: Mass-production of Circuit Erasers, testing, and package design
Once we finalize the details, the mass production of the eraser will be completed within a month. This is a clear projection because we have experience working with the manufacturer.
March 2015: Packaging and sending rewards to you!
We anticipate that it will take one month for packaging. It takes some time to ensure compliance with safety requirements for the pens, batteries, and other components. By working on packaging from February, we expect to deliver the first Erasable Circuit Marker packages to you in March 2015!
The idea of the Circuit Eraser was born out of an experiment that was supposed to be irrelevant to the eraser. In Spring 2014, we tested how much high voltage we could put on a trace drawn by the Circuit Marker. However, when 12V was applied, a spark happened on conductive trace and that part of the trace was removed! (Note: We do not recommend you to do this!)
At the same time, we were realizing that many people would want to edit circuits drawn with Circuit Markers. There was no reason to leave the inspiration at that spark. In the summer of 2014, we explored some approaches to realize this idea, such as a pen that applies high voltage to the conductive trace. Fortunately, we found that an eraser could be constructed using a marker with a water-based solution instead of designing a complicated device that causes sparks. In addition to simplicity, this finding brought another benefit - we got support from the manufacturer of AgIC Circuit Marker in Japan.
Thanks to the manufacturer, who provided sample nibs (pen tips) for us, we were able to experiment with different materials and shapes. As people hold pens differently and the force on pens varies, we tested those nibs with some supporters and pen plotter to collect both qualitative and quantitative data.
Based on our test results, we’ve selected the nib material and now have a good sense for the ink formulation. We are now finalizing the shape of nib and the formulation of the ink. We are confident that our design will result in an eraser that is smooth and easy to use, and we can’t wait put the excitement of using Circuit Eraser into your hands!
Risks and challenges
We have been working closely with the manufacturer, and have a good idea of how we will run the production of the Circuit Eraser. However, this does not resolve all the risks in this project, of course. From our experience in the first Kickstarter campaign, we have better understanding of the risks. We are confident that we have set reasonable timeline and goals, and are ready to work hard to realize this product.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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