PapierMachine looks like an ordinary book. While it seems deceptively simple, it is in fact full of interactive features that are waiting to be activated. With a bit of effort from the reader becomes a user, transforming the book into six interactive electronic toys. All one has to do is follow a set of assembly instructions — a fun process in itself. The pre-perforated pages of the book allow for anyone to easily extract engaging toys from its flat pages, Each of these presents circuits screen printed in conductive silver ink. They can be extended or closed by drawing with good old graphite pencil (a conducive material easily accessible to all). Also included are pictorial instructions and a set of electronic ingredients that help activate the magic: buttons, piezo elements (activated by pressure), and sound components.
The featured toys are a piano, a musical marble-activated gyroscope, a couple of different marble tracks that generate sound as the balls roll through, a tilt-activated switch that makes different noises depending on the balance created by stacking cardboard blocks on its top, and a ghostly mask that is activated by air movement. The first volume of PaperMachine is focused on sound, while subsequent sets will explore other applications of paper circuits. The series is both a fun activity for explorers of any age group, and a way of demystifying the ways in which electronic circuits that drive our devices work.
PapierMachine was conceived by the design duo of engineer Raphaël Pluvinage and designer Marion Pinaffo, with the help of Agnes Agullo’s expertise in sound.
PapierMachine Vol.0 run has made almost three times its goal on Kickstarter. The pledges have closed for now, but keep up with news on the project’s website if you are interested in snagging a copy when they become available again.