By using Vinyl Cutter , you can cut a copper foil into circuit trace shape and make a soft circuit. There are some nice post from Simon de Bakker and Nadya Peek showing how to make a vinyl cut circuit. Since I had an access to Roland CAMM 1 GX-24E vinyl cutter, I’ve made my own. The result is wonderful! I do recommend this method. Here are the links and my test results.
>> Jie’s Vinylcut Fabduino
Jie Qi’s I/O paper >> http://fab.cba.mit.edu/classes/MIT/863.10/people/jie.qi/jieweek14.html
Jie’s Flickr set >> http://www.flickr.com/photos/jieq/sets/72157625670797923/
Ed Baafi’s Fabduino >> http://fab.cba.mit.edu/classes/MIT/863.10/people/Edward.Baafi/assignment5.html
>> Simon’s Instruction
>> Nadya’s Instruction
Instructable by Nadya Peek on vinyl cutting copper foil circuits
>> Hannah’s Vinylcut Tilt Sensor
So, I followed their instruction. I used Cutronic Foil from TechSoft since I am based in UK and Copper Foil with Conductive Adhesive Tape from 3M is not available in UK. For vinyl cutter, I used Roland CAMM 1 GX-24E. I made a simple multi vibrator circuit following this schematic>>
Cutting went straight forward. I used Pen Force as 80 gf and speed is set to 1cm/s (lowest). The result is very clean.
Pealing off the unwanted copper foil was easier than I thought. Occasionally I had to use pen knife to support the separation, overall it is cut very cleanly. Then I sticked a wide piece of masking tape from front side to transfer the foil from its backing and still keep it in place. Then stick it to a backing fabric (I used white cotton non-stretchy fabric) and press the copper bits so it sticks to it good.
Soldering components on this copper foil is very easy. It sticks to solder very well, and connection seems strong enough. (we can do some washing test later). At the end, I’ve pierced popper through copper foil and fabric to make a connection to other parts, and it seems to work well as a connector.
Cutronic Foil for PCBs >> http://www.techsoft.co.uk/products/materials/knife-cutting/cutronic-foil-pcbs.asp
3M 1126 Copper Foil with Conductive Adhesive Tape >> http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/3MElectrical/Home/ProductsServices/Products/?PC_7_RJH9U5230GE3E02LECIE20OES1_nid=781VJDMC6Lbe870G8G819Fgl
3M #1126 copper tape with conductive adhesive 6”x 36 yds @$225.18/roll from Budnick Converting >> http://www.budnickconverting.com