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Fabricate flexible electronics directly on your skin with the BodyPrinter

Arduino TeamNovember 5th, 2020

What if you could print circuit “tattoos” right on your body? While the idea of augmentation with a pre-assembled electronic sticker isn’t new, the technique proposed by a team of KAIST and MIT Media Lab researchers takes things to a new level.

Their small BodyPrinter device — composed of a custom 3D-printed plotter with a movable head and a mounted extruder — can be strapped directly to multiple body parts, including fingers, arms, back, stomach, forehead, neck, laps and shoulders. After a little calibration, it deposits conductive ink on a “liquid bandage” substrate that’s already attached directly to a subject’s skin.

The BodyPrinter is controlled by an Arduino Uno and CNC shield, and a number of experiments with the resulting circuits have already been explored. A quick overview of the system can be seen in the video below, and more details are available in the team’s paper.


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