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animated light saber star wars paper circuit

Great STEM Project

Making paper circuit light sabers are great for boys and girls of all ages.  This is a fun STEM project that shows how circuits work.

Get The Paper Circuit Book & Kit

Step 1 – Print the paper circuit template

To begin, you will need to download & print the light saber paper circuit template. This template is a 2 page PDF.

light saber template

This project works best if you print on both sides of the paper.  Many printers have this option and the setting can usually be found in the printer “properties” when printing.

Below is an example of where we found the setting using our printer.

print on both sides

Step 2 – Paper Circuit Materials

Now we are ready to create the paper circuit that will energize our light saber.  You will need to get the following materials:

  • Conductive copper tape
  • Transparent tape
  • Coin cell battery -3v
  • LED
  • LilyPad button board
  • Straw
  • Scissors and/or Xacto knife

Buy The Paper Circuit Book & Kit

paper circuit materials

Step 3 – Apply Copper Tape

Let’s build a circuit !  Take your copper tape and apply it to the brown trace lines on the template.  It’s always best to maintain a continuous strip of copper tape versus cutting it.  When you come to corners fold at a 45 degree and then back 180 degree like shown in the photos.  For more in depth details check out our paper circuit tutorial.

paper circuits copper tape

paper circuit tutorial

This is how the copper tape looks around the battery area.  Only apply half of the tape at this point because the other half  will need to stick to the top of the battery.

copper tape paper circuits

Step 4 – Mount The Battery & Switch

Put the coin cell battery on the grey circle area with the negative (-) facing down.  Secure the loose copper tape to the top of the battery.  Once that is complete you will need place the LilyPad button switch at the spot outlined on template.

lilypad switch and coin cell battery

Once the battery and switch are in place, use transparent tape to secure them over.  Make sure the switch and battery are contacting the copper tape firmly.

lilypad switch and coin cell battery

Step 5 – Fold Paper Circuit Template

Fold the template along the line.

fold paper circuit template

Step 6 – Secure LEDs

Cut the dotted lines.  These slits will allow the LED legs to slide thru from the front.

leds paper circuits

leds paper circuits

Fold the template and insert the LED legs thru the holes.  Note that one leg goes in each cut.

IMPORTANT –  Make sure the positive leg (the longer one) goes thru the top cut and touches the positive copper trace.  This photo is actually not correct because it shows the shorter leg on top.

leds paper circuits

Once the LED has been put thru the cuts, flip the template over and bend the legs so that they contact the copper tape.  Again, make sure the positive LED leg is touching the positive side of the copper.

leds paper circuits

Once everything is in place you can tape down the legs with transparent tape.  Make sure the legs are making firm contact with copper.

Step 7 – Add The Straw

Now it’s finally time to make this look like a light saber.  Choose a color straw to match your LED color.  You can use white LED but we find the color is richer when the LED and straw match.

straw

Take the Xacto or scissors and slice 1/4″ on one edge of the straw.  This is so the straw will fit over the LED.  If the straw already fits then this step isn’t necessary.

light saber paper circuit

Next, cut the straw to about a 2″ length.

4

Place the straw over the LED.

light saber paper circuit

Bend the LED/straw down towards the paper and then tape the straw in place.

Step 8 – Be a Jedi !

animated light saber star wars paper circuit

 

45 More Paper Circuit Projects

Check out our ebook which contains over 45 printable paper circuit templates.

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