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Silkscreen Your Own EL Displays

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:


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