DIY printing custom touch-sensitive displays

Atmel | Bits & Pieces

The PrintScreen lets anyone print their own custom displays.

In recent years, the industry has advanced by leaps and bounds when it comes to flexible touchscreens, albeit reproducing this technology for DIY projects has been a daunting task. Have you ever wanted to devise an interactive prototype with a display, like for a smart plant capable of that can reveal incoming calls or messages? Or, how about a touch-enabled greeting card for a loved one that could depict self-created symbols? Or, perhaps even a postcard that illuminates in color when triggered? Despite countless innovative ideas, affordable displays available for mockups can be quite bulky and only come in a few sizes.


That may soon all change thanks to a group of researchers from Germany’s Saarland University who have developed a technique that could allow anyone to literally print their own custom displays, including touchscreens. The aptly-named PrintScreen has been designed to facilitate the next-generation of digital fabrication for customized flexible displays using thin-film electroluminescence (TFEL). Through the approach, an ordinary inkjet printer will pave the way for inexpensive…

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