clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Circuit Breaker

You can assemble this paper booklet to create electronic music toys

Image: Papier Machine

An interactive booklet called Papier Machine is making beautiful STEM toys that are actually fun and accessible, by combining paper with electronic circuitry. The booklet contains pages silkscreened with conductive silver ink that can be assembled to create six electronic paper toys. It also comes with two button cells, two metallic marbles, two piezo elements, and two sound components that can be reused with each interactive toy.

The first in a collection of thematic books, Papier Machine Vol.0 focuses on the theme of sound. “Circuits hide a surprising narrative potential that we wanted to make visible,” the video below explains. Users can close the circuits by drawing them in with a graphite pencil, and play around with the pitch and volume of the sound.

All six electronic toys — Resistance, Gyroscope, Playing track, Wind sensor, Writing track, and Tilt Switch — come with their own user manuals. Much like an Ikea assembly manual, there are no written instructions, only visual steps, so users aren’t limited by language. Pages are pre-cut, pre-folded, and glue isn’t necessary, as everything fits neatly together. You can erase the graphite lines and redraw them, which means you can play with Papier Machine as many times as you want, as long as you take good care of it. (It is paper, after all, so be gentle!)

“Resistance - Like any music instrument, this piano needs to be tuned. The pitches are determined by hand-drawn graphite zones. Graphite being conductive, these zones complete the circuit. Closing the doors finishes to close the circuit producing for each of them a unique sound. Hence offering infinite possibilities to create a unique piano.”
GIF: Papier Machine

After three years of testing, an exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and racking up several design awards, the acclaimed project launched on Kickstarter today to bring the project to the masses. It’s currently more than halfway to its goal of $55,201, so the project should be funded in no time. Early bird prices started at €35 for one Papier Machine booklet, though it looks like those pledges are quickly being snatched up. It’s expected to start shipping in July, so the usual caution with crowdfunding websites applies.

“Gyroscope - Steel conducts electricity. The marble inserted in the slit connects the two parts of the circuit. By tilting the sheet, the marble rolls towards the battery and the sound intensifies.”
GIF: Papier Machine