Gilded Traces

gilding is the practice of covering or coating a surface in gold leaf. It is mostly done for decorative purposes in the framing, signage as well as automotive industry. This recipe describes how a range of available metal leafs (very thin sheets of metal) can be applied to surfaces – both flat and curved – to create the conductive traces of a circuit.

In order to apply metal leaf you first need to apply an adhesive. Traditionally an adhesive called “size” is applied and let dry until it is tacky (not wet) before the metal leaf is then applied to it and the remains brushed away. Size can be painted on or sprayed on. Instead of size you can also use double sided sticky tape (studio tack) or spray-on adhesive.

Size

Double sided stickytape

Studio tack, cut all the way one layer and glue, leave second layer as backing to keep traces in place.
lasercutter settings: 100 speed, 12 power

Related work

Some of Greg Saul’s paper robots have gold leaf gilded circuits inside:
>> http://www.gregsaul.co.uk/lookAt/paperRobots/#14

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