So, I’m at MakerFaire NYC and my friend John (Sarik) comes up and says he’s got something he wants to show me at his booth. Before I get into what the deal is, some background: John is best known to makers as the creator of Nixie Sudoku (also Hackaday 1, 2). When he’s not solving number puzzles with retro display tech, he’s a member of the Columbia Lab for Unconventional Electronics (CLUE) at Columbia University. He and his colleagues had a booth set up at the Faire to show off their stuff.
I get to his booth and he shows me this awesome screenprinted EL display (see photo above). John was nice enough to make an Adafruit logo in EL, along with a Hackaday logo and several others. The best part: the CLUE crew have put all their research online (.brd, .sch, docs here) so that you can print your own EL displays.
The down side (from a DIY standpoint) is that the luminescent ink required is somewhat difficult to obtain: it’s rather expensive and has a large minimum order. Fortunately, the CLUE folks sell a kit with everything you need to get your EL on.
And here’s Jeri Ellsworth at MakerFaire 2010 in CA, interviewing CLUE member Jon Beck about the process: